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.
Observe what happens when you have a financial loss, or a big sense of loss. Something happens in your stomach. You feel, ‘I earned something with so much effort, and it is gone!’ Sometimes, it is not in your control. The stock market comes crashing down, real estate prices go down, and you lose. At such times, when you have this contraction within you, all you need to do is wake up and see, life is temporary and life is changing. One day we are going to lose this body also. This reminder that one day we are going to lose the whole world and the body wakes you up from within. Then you see life as much larger than gains and losses.
Losses pinch you when life is smaller than your gain or loss. When you lose a tennis game that you are playing for fun in the evening, it doesn’t bother you, it doesn’t touch you. If you miss a plane, a train or a bus, it doesn’t bother you so much, why? Because you know you are bigger than the loss. So, when you have confidence in yourself that you can make up for the finances you have lost, then nothing can put you down.
Let me share an incident with you. About 25 years ago when I went to England, I met with this Gujarati family. They were at one point of time, the richest families in Uganda. They were in the electronic industry, they had four Rolls Royce cars, and wealth enough for the next four generations to survive. The children didn’t have to do anything because their parents had created a large bank balance and a lot of wealth for them. Suddenly, during Idi Amin’s time, they had to leave the country with just one suitcase in hand. Idi Amin threw all the Asians out from his country. So they had a choice to either go to India or Britain, and since they were British citizens they settled down in England.
They told me, from that day they started believing in God, that God can make someone a pauper or a prince, overnight. When the couple reached England, they had no idea what they would do there. They had to start from scratch. They started selling hot dogs on the street. In two to three years, they started a business and started flourishing again. Thus, from being somebody to nobody, and then again rising up. This shows that there is some higher power. They said this experience made their life very rich, as they had otherwise taken life for granted. Now they are truly happy.
There are many such events -- this happens with all the politicians. As long as they are in power, everyone looks up to them. The moment they retire, there is terrible insecurity. Suddenly, they start feeling that even the butler in their home does not listen to them. It is just in their mind. They say, "Earlier, my driver would be on time but now, if I call him three times, he comes later!"
Small things prick you because you have a sense of loss, you feel you have lost something. But if you believe in yourself, if you believe in your ability, if you believe there is a higher power guiding you, I tell you, there is nothing that can shake you! No loss, no defame, nothing, because you are self-reliant!
For a person who is self-reliant, losses appear very small. If you are self-reliant or have faith in the higher self (whatever you call it) when you are centered, you can always take the loss knowing that it is just a passing phase. Don’t do business emotionally; business must be done intellectually. Often people mix up these two things.
A loss should be dealt in context of one’s confidence and one’s expanded awareness.
What is love?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Well, if you have not known it, there is no way you can know it! There is not a single being on this planet which or who does not know what love is. On one hand this is true, on the other hand, nobody has known love.
Love is not something that you know, it is something that you feel. Why do you want to analyze and put a tag to it?
You can go on describing the shades of love, or the types of love that are there, but what are its repercussions? In fact, all the negative emotions are just distortions of love. Your anger is because of love. You love perfection, so you get angry at imperfections. You love people too much, and so it becomes jealousy or possessiveness. You love yourself too much, and that becomes arrogance. When you love objects more than people or more than anything else, then it is greed. Love plus knowledge or wisdom leads you to bliss. Love minus knowledge or wisdom, leads you to misery. We can go on analyzing it, but what is the use?
If you have a puppy at home, it will tell you what love is. If you have a dog at home, when you return home, it will show you what love is. It will not say, "Yesterday I greeted you, I don’t have to do it now". Every day when you come home, a dog or a baby can tell you what love is. Hours of lecture cannot convey what a baby can convey in a fraction of a second.
As far as love is concerned, a thousand words cannot equal one glance, and a million glances cannot equal a moment of silence, one moment of that inner connection. That is love! You are made up of a substance called love and everything in the world is made up of that one thing called love.Love