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.
The term great warrior refers to someone with valor and is usually used for people who fight battles and attain victory over their enemies. However, one who sits still and follows the path of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence totally, is also referred to as a great warrior.
In the word Mahaveer, veer means warrior, and the word “warrior” comes from the Sanskrit root veera. Mahaveer (a great warrior) is a title given not only to people who fight and win but also to people who are in deep meditation.
How can someone who is non-violent and who meditates be called a great warrior?
There is turmoil in the inner world (referring to the mind) as much as there is turmoil in the outer world. There are more conflicts inside you than what you find outside in the world. When you can win over the turmoil inside, be still and keep smiling, then you are a great warrior.
The world is made up of five elements and they are all in conflict; conflict is their nature. Fire and water are never friendly; fire evaporates water and water extinguishes fire. Similarly, air can put off fire and it is only because of air that fire can exist. However, that same fire can split air too. And, Earth is affected by all the three elements: fire, water, and air.
Similarly, there is conflict world over. Inside you, the heart and mind are in a conflict. The heart is compassionate but the mind is logical and reasons everything. When the mind says, "This is the right thing to do", the heart doesn’t want to do it. When the heart wants to do something, the mind says, "This is no good". The fight between the mind and the heart—between likes and dislikes—bother you. These are storms that get created inside you that don’t let your mind be at peace.
Worry, conflict, sadness, unhappiness – all these emotions pose a great challenge for meditation to happen and do not let you be at peace. When you are peaceful and happy for a few moments, something comes up and it destroys your peace. There are a hundred and one reasons for you to be miserable, and if you’re not intelligent, your mind makes up thousand and one reasons to be unhappy. Sometimes you are unhappy because there is conflict, and sometimes you are unhappy just because you have lost your peace of mind. This continues throughout life.
How to win over Inner Conflicts?
In meditation, a million things can come up, but if you raise your head above all these conflicts and be unmindful of them, not questioning why they have come, it makes you go deep in your meditation. By thinking why these bad thoughts are coming, you are being party to the conflict, and this makes you weak. Let them come and go. Stay in the mind-frame that you have nothing to do with them. This is the strategy to win over inner conflict.
When inner conflicts arise, this strategy is there to remind you that you are much more powerful and much bigger than the conflict. Then you rise above it, flying above the clouds, piercing through them, and reaching the clear sky.
Sit still in your inner space, unmindful of any conflict, thought, or emotion. If they come, let them come and go, and when you think, "I don’t care about how I feel", then that will give you strength.
You have to stand up against inner conflict and fight it. The world doesn’t care how you feel – the world is only interested in what you have done and what you are doing. One day you may feel good and another day you may not feel so good. Feelings go up and down, but the world will only ask you, "What good have you done, and how have you contributed to the world?" When we get into this complex emotional turmoil, so much time and money is wasted. If people get over this emotional turbulence—if they don’t succumb to it and waste time—the world would be a much better place, and we can save trillions of dollars.
In any relationship, be the giver of strength. This you can do only when you are strong. And meditation will give you that much-needed strength.