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.
By continuing to do what you are doing now. You are in the right place.
When you become content then you are liberated. If you want something (including contentment) then you cannot be contented. Have the faith that you will get what you want. And if you don’t have the faith that you will get what you want, then why are you holding onto that desire? Be willing to let go of your desires.
If you want something and have the faith that you will get it, then you will surrender it and your mind becomes calm. If you don’t have the faith but still have the desire to get something, then you will need to drop it. When will you drop it?
If you have a doubt whether you will be able to drop it or not, then know it will drop by itself. Then again you will be at peace and contented.
Observe what is happening within you.
Take a deep breath in. Now you suddenly see there is nothing to hold onto, and immediately you find contentment and become peaceful (laughter in audience).
Listen, this is important. Firstly, we don’t know what we want. If we come to know what we want, then we don’t have faith that we will get what we want. This self-confidence is not there. If there is faith in the self, in the Guru, in the Divine, then just with the faith that we will get what we want, the mind becomes calm this moment. Not after getting, but before getting, the mind becomes calm. Isn’t it true?
If even this doesn’t work then think of dropping it, letting go.
And if you feelit is not getting dropped, then pray that all these desires drop off. At the time of prayer itself the mind becomes happy.
Gurudev, I asked my friend, 'Why do bad people get good things?' He said, 'They are enjoying stale food from previous lifetimes'. Are we supposed to have everything without knowing why?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Suffering comes on two counts:
1. Ignorance – we are miserable due to our ignorance
2. Old karmas - we are experiencing something to pay off some old karmas.
These are the only two reasons.
It is okay if some challenges have come. You should have that much confidence within you that you can overcome the challenge. Earlier also challenges have come in your life and you have overcome them; you have gone beyond them. Learn from that.
Look back at your own life and see how many challenges you have had and how you have sailed through them and come out of them. This will give you confidence. The other option is to realize that you have to pay some debt so you are undergoing what you are undergoing.
Further, don’t compare yourself with others. You think other people who don’t do anything in spirituality are rising up? What do you know about them? They may have a lot of money but may not have good sleep. You don’t know their suffering. People by hook or by crook make wealth, they reach to the top, and then they fall from there. Hasn’t it happened? So many people who have climbed to the top using wrong methods, haven’t they fallen?
What should you do by looking at all that? You should go with your determination (of righteousness).
You should properly feed into your brain what it is that you want. The brain is like a computer; the consciousness works like a computer. First make sure of what you want.
If you confused and you don’t know what you want, then pray, 'Agne naya supathā rāye asmāna viśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān'.
This prayer was in Ishavasya Upanishad today, which means: May the Divine lead me and give me the best. And having the faith that only the best will happen to me. Got it?
Gurudev, there are many divorces happening in India nowadays. Please give some tips to men and women to stop this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
To the men I would say, do not attack the emotions of women. Women are emotionally inclined, respect their emotions. Don’t sit like in olden times and dictate or lord over them; respect women.
To the women I would say, don’t attack a man’s ego. It’s possible that he may be stupid, but with your own mouth you should not call him stupid! If you call him useless he will actually become useless. Keep pumping his ego. Tell him, 'There is no one as intelligent like you in this world'.
He may not have used his brains as much as others have, but even though he may not have used his brain, doesn’t mean he does not have intelligence.
Many times in school, parents visit the principal and say that their child is very brilliant but is unable to write in the exam, something happens in the exam. The mother always feels her child is the most brilliant. You should feel the same, that your husband is the greatest. Never attack his ego. He should never have to prove his manhood, or talent, or competency to you. Don’t ever create such a situation. Don’t make him feel guilty, don’t blame him for everything.
If you blame a person all the time, that person will try to run away from you. Instead, with a sense of belongingness give him comfort. He works tirelessly for your sake, but when he comes home and you point a finger and start blaming and complaining about what he has or has not done then where will he go? Give him some comfort and relief.
These are two tips, and for both of them the common tip would be – don’t doubt each other’s love. Don’t compel the other to prove their love to you. Don’t ask, 'Do you really love me?' Is he supposed to bring a flower for you every day? If he brings flowers, then too it is a problem because then you will say, 'What’s the matter, there is something definitely wrong today'.
Sometimes women call their husband's office and find out what time he left work. Don’t do this, don’t be suspicious about him. If someone doubts your sincerity and love, and you have to prove your love again and again to them, isn’t that a big burden for you? It is so difficult to express love! In this world, nobody has been able to do it fully. But we ask the other if they truly love us, and then to prove it to us. Don’t ask for proof, take it for granted that the other person loves you.
If you feel that your partner or spouse does not love you as much as before or their attention has reduced, you should ask them, ‘Why do you love me so much?’ Demand destroys love. Even if the love has dried up inside them, it will be rekindled. They will see your magnanimity, your understanding and will start loving you more. Demand destroys love.
Gurudev, if Isha is the force that protects us, what about people who are in poverty, disease, losses and danger? If it is their karma, isn’t the divinity protecting people with karma?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Protection is relevant only when there is a challenge. A doctor is relevant only when there is a sickness. Did you get it?
You have to rethink your question. How do you even know that there is protection by your side? When there is an issue, then you realize, ‘oh I’ve been protected!’