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.
When the Sun, Moon and Earth are in one line, there is a different cosmic energy pattern that happens. This time is very good for meditation and chanting.
The mind is connected with the moon, the body is connected with the Earth and the Sun is connected with both. The time when all three come in alignment is good for spiritual practices. It is not a good time to eat, or indulge in pleasures. It is a good time to conserve energy. So, from the ancient times it is said that you should not eat during the eclipse, and you should meditate.
What is fear?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Every seed has a membrane around it. That shell is there to protect the seed, but when you soak the seed in water, at some point the membrane breaks and the sprout come out of it. In the same way, fear is a mechanism around the life to protect it; at the same time, there is a way to go out of it.
If you see, very young kids, they don’t have fear when the mother is taking care of them. But when a kid starts walking on its own, then he looks around here and there very carefully. So, fear comes around that time, and it disappears when the mind or the intellect get mature. A mature intellect has no fear.
(A member of the audience asked a question which was inaudible)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
In meditation there is no ego; there are no boundaries. Boundaries come when the spirit attaches itself to a desire, and then ego comes up to protect that. It’s all the play of ego, desire and intellect.
Three things obscure our spirit:
These three things cover the spirit and then you start feeling suffocated. Your intellect creates judgements – that person is like that, this person is like that, I like this person, I don’t like that person. Ego, intellect and desire are the three things that can make you miserable. But if your intentions are pure, if your intellect is broad and your ego is vast then the opposite happens; these three things bring you more joy in life.
See, you are doing some good work and ten people criticize you. What happens? It hurts your ego. It is the nature of people to talk. You don’t need to get upset if some people talk something against you. And if there is something good in what someone is saying, then take it and thank them. If there is nothing good, then know that they are just saying it out of jealousy, and it is their problem.
If someone is saying something for your good, you should only thank them. They have the guts to say that. If they are saying it out of ignorance, then educate them and ignore. The third option is to have compassion.
When the intellect is pure it sees beyond words. When the intellect is impure it sees conspiracy theories. It builds up a universe of conspiracies. The same is with the ego, when the ego is pure, then everyone becomes part of your ego. You are natural and you feel at home with everyone. When the ego is impure, then you think, ‘I don’t want to talk to them’, or ‘I don’t want to be subservient’, or ‘Why should I listen’. If you feel, ‘People are looking down on me’, that is your own ego. Do you see what I am saying?
Come on, wake up! The world has ignorant people, you can’t expect everyone to be enlightened.
Today, I met a gentleman who was called a cheat by the whole of Europe, and people were wondering, why is Gurudev meeting this person who is such a big cheat. A doctor is necessary when there is a disease. Knowledge is essential when there is a problem. And you cannot separate the honest people in society into one corner. They have to live with people who are dishonest and change them. We have to create an impact in society, and not run away. You can’t just have a group of compassionate people put away in a room. In society, all types of people will be there and we need to be strong enough to influence them and not get influenced by them.
Just before I started The Art of Living, I met this 108 years old man. He was a Pandit and has written around 700 books. He was a great astrologer. I was around 21 at that time, and he told me one thing. He said, “For any organization you need 12 people – four good, four mediocre and four hopeless people. This forms a good organization. The four hopeless people will bring out all the good qualities and the strength in the four good people. And the mediocre will learn their lessons from both side”.
I sometimes think to myself, ‘What wise advice he gave me, even before I thought of starting an organization’. In fact, I never wanted to start an organization. I was very happy; I am happy now also. At that time, I had my little suitcase, and I would travel from place to place, talk to people and give some knowledge. This is how I started and then the organization started happening on its own.
Don’t look into the behavior of others around you. If it is not inspiring, don’t look at it. If it is inspiring then definitely take, as they must be one of the four good people. If you are focused on the four hopeless then you will want to run away, you will want to blame others and yourself, and all this negativity will chase you like a shadow. And the farther you go from light, the shadow becomes much bigger and then you fight with your own shadow. When does your shadow get bigger? It is when you are away from the light, and when you are no facing the light. That is when your shadow is bigger than you.
The four good will never run away, they are like solid pillars. The four mediocre will try to run away because they are focused on the hopeless people. There was a saint who would give an example of a rose and say that a person is coming to you with a rose but because your eyes are on the thorns which are beneath the rose, you think they are coming to hit you with the thorns. If your sight is focused on the rose, the thorns will not bother you. You will see how you can put your hands in-between the thorns and hold the rose – that is the skill that you will get. If you have a little intelligence, then you will know how to hold and enjoy the rose and not be bothered about the thorns.