Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sudarshan Kriya::Living Art

Sudarshan Kriya is a unique rhythmical breathing process that is said to have been revealed to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during a spell of silent meditation that he had gone into for 10 days in 1982. The theory is that the kriya allows a healthy and pleasant mind to produce chemical messengers, which travel from the nervous system to the immune system, resulting in the overall betterment of both body and mind.
Ravi Shankar has described the working of the Sudarshan Kriya thus:"There is a rhythm in nature. Seasons come and go. In your own body also, there is a rhythm. Life has a particular rhythm. Similarly, your breath also goes in a pattern. Your emotions move in a particular rhythm, as well as your thoughts. All these rhythms arise from your being, which has its own rhythm.
"In Sudarshan Kriya, we get into the rhythm of our being and see how our being is permeating our emotions, our thoughts, our breath and our bodies. Soon, every cell of our body becomes alive and releases all the toxins and negative emotions it has stored from times past. Once again, we are able to smile from our hearts."
Ravi Shankar also teaches that besides certain yogic asanas and other processes, sudarshan kriya involves pranayama, which silences inner turmoil. According to Ravi Shanker, through this kriya the mind experiences deep rest. He states that the process also involves the infusion of a maximum amount of oxygen to the cells, which helps in the release of neuropeptides that regularize Abnormal Brain Wave patterns in patients suffering from neural disorders.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where did we learn to be afraid of making mistakes?

Sri Sri: There are many people who have no fear of making mistakes. Many students who have no fear, drop out of school and are involved in violence. Recent statistics reveal that as many as 30% of the children in North America are resorting to some sort of violence. This is a very big number. They resort to violence because they are not afraid of making mistakes. There must also be another 30% who are afraid to make mistakes, who are not interested in taking the risk and who shy away. Ideally we need to keep a balance. We are afraid of making mistakes because of the consequences, because we think we will be punished or the consequences will be very bad. Often those who have been punished several times are no longer afraid of the consequences.
You cannot totally eliminate fear, nor should we. Fear is like salt in the food, it keeps one on his toes. Fear keeps one’s feet on the ground, but fear is essential to some degree only. Life salt in the food, if there is too much salt, the food is not consumable, but you cannot eat the food without any salt. A little bit of fear is essential in the process of growth. Nature has built you like that. You drive on the right side of the road (in US) because of the fear you would get in to an accident. You walk on the sidewalk, you drive only when there is green light. These actions happen out of fear. If you are totally without fear, you could do anything and violate all the laws. Laws are always followed with a pinch of fear, and it is not a bad thing, but if there is too much fear, then it cannot be helpful. You have to keep a degree of fear like a little bit of salt in the food.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Who am I really?

Sri Sri: When intellect matures, it comes up with this question. But the answer to it is beyond the intellect. When you have had a good night's rest, then the intellect recognizes that the body has rested. Similarly, when this question comes up and you meditate, then it recognizes first that you are not the body you are not the mind .
Then you come to a quiet center within you .and you have no answer and you are That. The silence you come to when you ask this question is what you are. He gave an interesting example He said you/the body are like the fan; and the Self is like electricity. The fan cannot run without the electricity .and electricity cannot manifest itself without the fan. So when you start asking the question 'Who am I'; you start moving to the point where the fan is connected to the electricpoint!(laughter).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What is your vision for the youth?

Sri Sri: I want you to have a vision. Each one of us should take the responsibility of ourselves and people around us, take such a vision. Have a dream. When I was in school, I used to say to my friend that I have friends all over the world and they are waiting for me. One day my mother came to know about this. She questioned me about why I am telling lies to my friends, I didn’t know what to say (And today it’s a reality!). One day my school friend wrote “Ravi is going to London, Paris, New York…” and so many things on the toilet door. Since that day I never used that toilet throughout my schooling (huge laughter). You know youth like you should not be so serious. Play some pranks. Once Pitaji (Guruji’s father) had to go somewhere on business tour. I replaced the stuff in his suitcase with my toys. When he opened the suitcase in front of his clients, toys popped out (laughter) but he sportingly enjoyed my childhood pranks. Don’t lose your smile for anything in the world, it is not worth it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Business & Spirituality

Question: How can we relate Business & Spirituality?
Sri Sri: Often business is looked down upon by spiritualists and spirituality is put off as non-practical by businessmen. Spirituality is the heart, business is the legs, and that is what the ancient people conceived. An individual or a society is incomplete without both these aspects. Business brings material comfort and spirituality brings mental and emotional comfort. Spirituality brings ethics and fair practice to business. In the body/mind complex depriving any one comfort means depriving both the comforts. You cannot talk spirituality to the poorest of the poor people without taking care of their basic needs. They need to be supported materially. There is no spirituality in the world that is devoid of service and service cannot happen if material needs are ignored. Service cannot happen only through the lips. For service to move you need legs. Every system has its flaws. As capitalism exploits the poor, socialism dampens individual creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Spirituality is the bridge between socialism and capitalism. Spirituality gives the heart to serve to the capitalists and the spirit to innovate to the socialist.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Talk about success and spirituality.

Sri Sri: The smile on your face, which nobody can take away, is success. It’s a sign of success and it can come only through spirituality. There is a book called ‘Celebrating Silence’ and I recommend all of you to read it. All the questions, which were asked here, have been answered in it.
What do you call success? Whom do you call a successful person? What are the signs of success? Ulcers? Blood Pressure? Fear? Ego? Anxiety? Problems? Are these signs of success? Then what are the signs? Power?
Look at all the people in power, there is such a struggle and they are not happy. Then when they have power, there is so much fear that they may lose it! To maintain it, again there is struggle and when they have lost it the memory of that power makes them miserable…
A Smile that comes from the depth of an innocent heart, the freedom which you are able to feel in life… these are the signs of success.
Are you free? Then you are successful! Are you in the present moment? Then you are successful! Are you useful to the people around you? Then your life is a success! Do you feel love for all humanity? Then that is a sign of success in life!

Monday, September 15, 2008

If there is no love !

Guruji: The world would be free from trouble if there is no love! All the problem in the world is caused by love! So also all the joy, pleasure and the very purpose in life. Do you see what I’m saying? Suppose there is no love, you can’t be jealous; jealousy is because of love. Greed is because you love objects too much. Anger is because you love perfection, that is why you are angry at imperfections. You love yourself too much and that’s why pride and arrogance comes to you. Isn’t it?
So, every distortion of love causes problems not only for ourselves, but for everybody. Even though this is the case, without love what is there in life? Just imagine there’s nobody who loves you on this planet, and you don’t love anybody. Does life have any meaning, any purpose? It appears absolutely depressing, boring, uninteresting, isn’t it so? But, how do we get to that point of love where that love is free from the distortions and we are able to be at ease with ourself?
This is where a little knowledge about ourself, about our mind, our consciousness, and the root of distortion will help. It is when you are tired and exhausted that you are not in touch with your virtues. Every individual is bestowed with all the virtues in the world. They simply get covered by lack of understanding. All that is needed is to just to uncover the virtues that are already there.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Letting go of Fear

Question:Guruji, Please can you talk about fear and letting go of fear, and why its so difficult to do?
Sri Sri: Its not difficult, just take a few deep breaths, do a few bhastrikas and pranayams and thats it. Wheres the fear? Fear is just love upside down. You have to turn it up. When there is love there is no fear, or when there is hatred there is no fear. Two types of people in the world have no fear- those who are in love, and those who are in hatred. They both create sensation in the heart region.
We do this in a 5, 6 days long Part II in the Art of Living program, in which we discuss about all different emotions and the places in the body where they are generated, how they are affected and how they can be handled. For 5 days you know. In 5 days, 3 days you remain in silence, and you observe different sensations, emotions. No fear!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Q: How to deal with anger?

Sri Sri: Anger is ok. I have a technique for you. Whenever you get angry, sing. If you get angry on your husband/wife, scold them by singing. Opera singing is even better. See if you can do it. (He sings a couple of lines... “You stupid, what did you do to me” and everyone breaks into laughter)
If possible take a guitar and sing with it. It must be very interesting. Some people will become musician like this. Anger comes when you go out of certain rhythm. And, music isbringing that rhythm back. Antidote for anger is music, exercise, karate, martial arts....
You know martial arts have to be done without anger.
In Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjun, "Arjun, fight but not with anger or hatred." Now, anger does not take permission before coming. Don’t regret anger.
It’s ok to be angry with children. If you don’t get angry at them, they become so weak in the world. They cannot take criticism. Theybecome weak. You should know the limitation though. You know how much salt should be put in the food. How cold or warm, your finger will tell you. As parents, don’t feel guilty for scolding your children. Thinking that way you become stressed and are preparing yourself to get more upset or angry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Benefits of the "Art of Living" Course

The Art of Living Course teaches us how to have greater peace, energy and joy...for a lifetime. We have learned many skills at home and in school, but we have never been taught how to handle negative emotions like anger, sadness, fear etc. If we learn the skill to deal with our mind when these emotions arise, the quality of our lives can change significantly for the better. Through the power of the breath and ancient knowledge of the mind, the Art of Living course teaches us this skill.
How can you benefit?
* More enthusiasm and dynamism in activities
* Increased harmony in relationships at home and at work
* Increased resilience to withstand stressful situations
* A smile born from inner stability
* Experience of a new depth in life and spirituality

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Arguments and wrong actions

A person who argues should not be given knowledge. An argumentative mind is not receptive to knowledge. When someone is in an argumentative mood, then giving knowledge or advice is in vain. In an argumentative mood you feel you know it all. Then you are not ready for knowledge. That is why wise people do not give advice when they are in an argumentative environment.
Argument has a purpose. It can bring out the truth if there is no emotion or sense of "I" attached to it. Argument can also have a disadvantage. It can make untruth appear to be truth.
A wise man will not take arguments seriously; he will just have fun with them. Wisdom is beyond all arguments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What to do if someone is jealous of you?

Sri Sri: Nothing(laughter). When you are unable to control your own mind then why should you want to manage someone else's mind! Jealousy towards someone else can happen because of 4 reasons someone else's money, fame, partner or somebody's wisdom/enlightenment
Any of these jealousies is not worth it as the grass is always greener on the other side .People who are famous are never at peace, surrounded by security and of course insecure about how long fame will stay; that soon someone else may come who can become more famous and anyways, one day they will all die ..billions have come to this earth ..and billions will come and die. You need to broaden your horizon whenever such negative emotions arise think of how huge this universe .millions of galaxies . Among them in a galaxy is the solar system, and within it in a tiny planet called earth, we reside in a corner. If you look at how insignificant your presence is in this universe, then all negativity would drop. If you keep thinking about the vastness of the universe, expansion happens.
You become the seed you sow, if you keep thinking, 'I'm a sinner, I'm a sinner' then that is the seed you sow. Look at life as a dream know that everything is dying every moment.
He asked everyone to read 'Celebrating Silence' where He has written at length about how to deal with negative emotions.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happiness within us.......

Never should we think, ‘‘Oh, deep inside me there is sorrow’’. I say it’s only skin deep, go a little deeper there is no sorrow. You cannot have hurt deep inside you, that only means you have not gone deep enough. That’s why we are unable to forgive somebody because we think that person has caused us hurt. Right? But if you look at the person from a different perspective, that person himself is also a victim of ignorance, small mindedness, lack of awareness. So, inside every culprit there is a victim crying for help. If we can recognise that we don’t need to forgive them, we will feel compassion for them.
When we are happy, something in us is expanding, have you noticed it? And when we are upset, something in us is being crushed, a sense of contraction is felt. Just knowing this brings freedom to us. Then our mind or our consciousness no more becomes a puppet of anybody’s words, opinions or their sayings. It becomes free. We are unconditionally happy.
Each of us should reach out to everyone and say, ‘‘Hey, come on, just be friendly!’’. Do you know that a child smiles 400 times a day, an adolescent only 17 times, and an adult doesn’t smile at all. And that too, if he becomes a little successful, he becomes much more stiff. I can’t understand this! To me, someone who has no fear, who feels at home with everybody and has a smile which no one can take away is a successful person.
From today, make one resolution — that you are going to be a guiding lamp for the world, for the people around you. Wherever you go, you are going to uplift the atmosphere. If someone comes to you with complaints they should go back with a lighter heart, feeling more enthusiastic.
Can you all do this?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Return To Joy

Our mind tends to vacillate between the past and the future. We are either regretting the past or anxious about the future. However as we all know living in the present moment is the route to joy. Our mind is such that we cannot control it in a direct manner. We cannot force it to be in the present moment. But we can influence our mind through the breath.
"Take a deep breath" is an age-old recommendation for relaxation. The Art of Living course takes this effect of breath on our minds and applies it in a very precise and powerful manner through the Sudarshan Kriya technique.

Practice of this technique can bring our mind effortlessly into the present moment. As this happens, we learn the ability to reduce the effects of negative emotions and return to our natural state of joy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Negativity needs an Anchor

Negativity cannot remain without a support. Positivity, happiness can be without any reason.
The mind goes on trying to find support for its negativity. It looks for a hook to hang its negativity on - if not this person, then that thing or that person and so on.
This perpetuates the maya!
The creeper of negativity needs a support in order to grow. But negativity or aversion for even one person can guarantee a one-way ticket to hell - you need nothing else!
All negativity is a pointer to move to the centre and broaden the vision to the cosmic intelligence.
Instead of focussing your attention on support for your negativity, look at the seed of negativity.
With meditation, silence, kriya, the source of negativity is nipped at the root.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Faith and Belief

Question: Are faith and belief the same?
Sri Sri: Belief is a little diluted, faith is little strong, more concrete. Our beliefs can change, faith is firm. Faith is yogurt, belief is buttermilk. Like a child has faith in the mother, the child does not make the mother into an object of knowing. The child does not try to know the mother, it simply has faith in the mother. When you have faith, what is the need to know it? You cannot make love an object of knowing, if you try to make love an object of knowing, if you try to know it, it will disappear.
In the same way you cannot make Self, or God an object of knowing. God, love, sleep, and Self are beyond knowing. If you try to analyze, doubt comes in and faith will disappear. So whatever you want to have faith in, do not want to know it or analyze it. The moment you make something an object of knowing then analysis starts and then doubt follows. Analysis creates a distance, synthesis brings it together. Faith is synthesis, knowing is analysis.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Faith, Joy, Sadness, Envy and Praise

Question: Can we observe joy and sadness, envy and praise, etc. at the same time?
Sri Sri: Emotions are not very clear. Sometimes you are happy with something and unhappy for something else. Sometimes when you change a place, you are happy about moving to the new place but sad for leaving the old place. I've seen even between father and son or husband and wife, conflicting emotions of envy and praise. It's a flow of energy. Energy moves. There's no demarcation.

Question: Can you have faith without being aware of it?
Sri Sri: Yes. You have faith. Consciousness cannot exist without faith. Faith is a relaxed, stable, quality of consciousness. It is like the flame of a candle. The nature of consciousness is faith.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

His action

Question: If everything is God's work, are the good things and bad things occurring to me is also His action?

Sri Sri: God has given you intellect. If you don't use it, you land up in trouble. Animals have no choice because they have no intellect. We cant be like that. Freedom comes with intellect. So we can't say that everything happens. Life is a combination of rules and freedom. Let us say that a cow is tied to a bamboo through a rope. The cow's freedom is within the rope's limit. We have little freedom. Increasing freedom is spirituality. Through seva(service) you get merit and achieve increase in freedom. Complete freedom is siddhi(special power). Mind is stable and does not get stuck is free mind and it is called siddha's mind.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Perfect Health

Guruji:The objective is to have fun in life and make sure that the knowledge we gain in life, permeates inside us. With this, Upanishad happens and the learning process begins. As we learn more about life, the mystery of the whole Creation unfolds. Then the question that arise in the mind are - What is the meaning of Life? what is its purpose? What is this world, what is love, what is knowledge.....?
Once these questions arise in you, know that you are very fortunate. These questions need to be understood; you cannot find the answers in books. You have to live through them ad witness the transformation. That is perfect health; You are transformed from within. and the bud becomes a totally blossomed flower.