Saturday, May 30, 2009

Only when your mind is free from feverishness, can His will be done

Bangalore (India), May 28:
Q. What is the purpose of life?
Sri Sri: It is a very precious question. One who knows will not give you an answer, and the one who answers, does not know. However, if you want to reach that answer, think about this: When you die, two questions will be asked.· How much knowledge have you gained?· How much love have you given? How much have you loved Planet Earth and people?
Q. What is our duty as citizens during non-election times? We know so much of rigging has happened during the elections. What do we do now?
Sri Sri: We have to play the role of a responsible citizen. You must speak up when you see some wrong happening.The second thing is that there are good people in every party. Don’t say all good people are in one party and all bad people are in the other. It is not the party, but the people that matter - if they are criminals and are doing wrong, they should not be given a ticket. So don’t think one party is better - it is people who make a difference.
Q. Why does the Divine love us?Sri Sri: It is good to ask this question. When we demand love, we destroy love. When we feel that we have been loved by people in abundance, then we will see that we have also grown in abundance.
Q. If I realize today that I had made a mistake in the past, what should I do about it?
Sri Sri: Whatever you have done in the past is over. Don’t worry about it now. You are innocent in the present moment. Have faith in the innocence of the present moment. There is an old belief – ‘If you bathe in the Ganges and chant God’s name, then all your sins will be washed away’. This means that you need to be in the present moment. However, don’t keep repeating the same mistake!
Q. Do our prayers reach the Divine? Many times they don’t get fulfilled. Why?
Sri Sri: Sometimes, aren’t you happy that all your desires don’t get fulfilled? Your wants keep changing. When your mind is not steady, your desires keep changing. You want something today, and tomorrow you desire something else. See how many desires come up in your mind. If all of them are fulfilled, you would be miserable.
Q. What is the difference between my will and God’s will?
Sri Sri: When every will is His, every mind is His, then where is your existence? Everything is God’s will. The moment you differentiate between mine and His, there are two.When your mind is clear, then sit and think. Only when your mind is free from feverishness, can His will be done.
Q. In whichever field we go, there is always someone who is better than us – this creates an inferiority complex. How do we cope with it?
Sri Sri: Don’t look at others. Always look at yourself and stop comparing. If you compare then there is no end. At every level, this can go on. We should only compare with our own self. What was I two years ago, and what am I now?
Q. Should one follow the heart or the head?
Sri Sri: A combination of both.
Q. Does God exist?
Sri Sri: Only God exists. But to realize that takes energy, time and commitment.
Q. Can love be selfish and, if it is selfish then is it love?
Sri Sri: The Self is love.
Q. Is winning in elections also karma?
Sri Sri: Sometimes, people win by wrong means, and think that they are enjoying the fruits of their actions. Whatever work is done by wrong means, the result will become momentary. Satyameva jayate- in the end truth will only triumph. If adharma (unrighteousness) has an upper hand for some time, we have to have patience. Fight with skill – not by burning buses, or vehicles. Fight adharma with awareness, not in the sway of emotions.Those who have won in the elections should be humble. They should not insult the ones who have lost. The ones who have lost should not lose their self-esteem. Read the Bhagvad Gita. The Gita says that winning and losing is the same. This is just a game. In life sometimes you win, other times you lose. Don’t become sad if you lose. If you lost, so what! What’s the use of getting dejected? If someone has used wrong means to win, you must speak up, do whatever is possible by law, go to the higher authorities. Surrender your wins and losses to the Divine. However, remember every position has been given to you for service only. Both are opportunities to do service. Remember, Mahatma Gandhi was not the head of the nation but he was called ‘The Father of the nation.’There is no such thing as big seva (service) or small seva. The fruits of both are the same. Do service as much as you are capable of. Put all your energy into it. Whatever service you do within your capabilities will bear good result. The feeling, the intention behind every seva is important.
Q. How to control HIV?
Sri Sri: The awareness campaigns have already brought HIV under some control. Education is the only way you can stop it. Medical education as well as spiritual education has to be emphasized. Pranayama, breathing exercises, learning about the breath and meditation can arrest promiscuous tendencies to a great extent.
Q. What is more important - faith in ourselves or faith in others?
Sri Sri: Both are necessary. However, add one more. That is, faith in God.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In a free mind, there is always heaven

Bangalore (India), May 26:
Why are we attracted to objects we should not be attached to, even though we know this is unhealthy?
Sri Sri: We don't understand this aspect well enough. We still feel there is some joy in those objects, and this misleads us.
Q. Should we believe in superstition?
Sri Sri: Once you know that it is superstition, then how can you believe it? If your brain and reasoning says it is illogical and not good, then what is the point of it? You should move away from it.
Q. What is pooja? You said that giving a big smile in the morning is pooja. Is it ok to smile instead of washing the idol and offering it incense and flowers?
Sri Sri: Absolutely, there is no need to wash the idol and decorate it, and in the night you needn’t put it to sleep.
Just do sadhana and feel the Divinity within yourself.
However this doesn't mean that you stop doing pooja on special occasions. Doing meditation is important, but on special days, make sure you do pooja.
If you don't do this, then children won't get the sanskaar (culture) of prayer. Children should feel the sense of belongingness with God. If you don’t do that, then the first thing they will do in the morning is to turn on the television. This is because there is no memory of God. You should have God’s pictures in the house. After seeing God's pictures, children light incense, and offer flowers.
Life is a celebration, sit, pray, light lamps and incense and do kirtan (singing in a group). This is important.
Read some mantras, say, “Om Namo Bhagvate”, “Om Namo Narayanaya”, “Om Namah Shivaya”, then the prana shakti (life energy) in the environment will get awaken.
Q. At my workplace, I have to listen to seniors who tell me to commit morally wrong acts. I am in a dilemma whether to follow them or not. If I follow them, I cheat myself. If I don’t, I am afraid of offending them.
Sri Sri: You should work with skill and intelligence. You should pray: “Let this man not force me to do any such acts.” Then your prayer will be answered.
Q. Should we follow the advice we get in dreams?
Sri Sri: There are five sources for dreams:
1. Your dreams may come from your desires
2. Your dreams may come from your fears
3. Your dreams may be delusions
4. Your dreams may be premonitions of future events
5. Your dreams may be a result of the place you are sleeping in
We experience different things in our dreams. Usually, our dreams are a mixture of the above. Our dreams are of things from the past, future, and of various types.
Don't analyze your dreams too much. If a dream comes, let it come, and just go ahead with your life.
Q. What should be done to end the cycle of karmas?
Sri Sri: By seva, sadhana, and satsang.
Q. I am a college student. After following spiritual practices, all the excitement in me seems to have been spent. Now I am only calm. Am I making a mistake?
Sri Sri: Absolutely not. Though you are calm, you are also enthusiastic, and happy. Isn’t it? Then it’s fine.
Q. Nowadays, youth marry without their parent's consent. They do this blindly, without thinking. Is this acceptable?
Sri Sri: Your question already has the answer. Nobody will tell someone to do anything blindly or without thinking.
As a parent, look at the matter from the children’s point of view. First, examine your reason for refusal. If the reason is good, then it's fine. But if you refuse because of differences in economic status or differences in caste, then it’s a different thing.
Parents can give guidance to children. Explain to them not to take a hasty step, acting on a whirlpool of emotions.
Q. Why don’t Muslims believe in yoga? How can we teach them the Art of living?
Sri Sri: Sure, we should teach them yoga as well. We conduct programs in many Islamic countries, such as Iraq and Pakistan.
There are even Hindu people who resist yoga and spiritual practices. There are temples that don’t allow yoga camps to be conducted.
So also in Islam. The few people who resist yoga change their perspective when they understand yoga. When people learn yoga, and understand the benefits, they won’t stop it.
This resistance is due to lack of knowledge and information.
Q. When we insult others, is it true that their karma decreases? What should we do if someone blames us for no reason?
Sri Sri: If someone blames us without reason, what can we do? Try explaining to them, and then forget about it.
Q. What is knowledge for? To earn money or social good? What should we do if someone uses knowledge to earn more money?
Sri Sri: That is wrong. If knowledge is used to earn money, it will give not benefits, either to the receiver or to the giver.
Q. What is Paramatma? Who are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (Hindu Gods)?
Sri Sri: Just like a rainbow, where all the colors merge to form a single white light, the Paramatma (Supreme Consciousness) is white and all the forms of Gods are the various colors.
This world is full of names and forms. Fruits, flowers all have a name and form. Our ancestors realized this, and said that there were 1008 names and forms, all belonging to the One who had no name.
Q. You have told us that there is no heaven or hell. But in our ancient texts there are pictures of hell where people are suffering.
Sri Sri: True. Heaven or hell is the state of mind. If the mind is in difficulty then hell is right here. If Sanskaar is absent, then hell is right here.
For a mukt (free) mind, there is always bliss, it is always heaven.
Q. What is mumukshtatvam?
Sri Sri: Mumukshtatvam is asking God for mukti (freedom). When you tell God that you have done everything, met people, talked to people, eaten enough, gone to enough parties, and now you want to be free, that is mumukshtatvam.
Q. What is right? A truth that brings tears or a lie that brings a smile?
Sri Sri: There is a saying:
Satyam bruyaat, priyam bruyaat,
Na bruyaat satyam apriyam
Na priyam cha nanrutam bruyaat
‘Speak the truth, speak pleasantly,
do not speak unpleasant truths
nor speak pleasant lies.’
This is sanatana dharma . If someone is blind, don’t say “Hey blind fellow come here!” This is not pleasant, though it may be the truth. Don't say unpleasant truths and pleasant lies.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Truth will always triumph

Bangalore, India, May 24:
Sri Sri: All of us want to be happy and have the willingness to do something to be happy.
What is the way for this? What is the formula?
You should always think, "I don't need anything from anyone.", because attachment causes misery. When you are happy, take a sankalpa that -
1. You don't need anything from anyone
2. You should be of use to everybody, and
3. No one can make you unhappy.
After we do something for someone, we expect thanks or gratitude from them. This expectation makes us even more miserable if they don't say thanks! We think that they are not grateful enough. No, we don’t need anything from anyone. We should keep that sankalpa in mind. Then we can be content, and we can do whatever is possible from our end.
Q. What should we do if others take undue advantage of us?
Sri Sri: Don't let them take undue advantage! When you are fully aware, people cannot take undue advantage of you. If you go to sleep or are unaware, then the distinction between your pocket and theirs will be blurred, and they may put their hands in your pocket!You keep doing what you want. Then no one can humiliate you. If you give room for it, only then it becomes possible. People hold on to small things and then say they are humiliated. If some guests come to your home, and you forget to offer them some tea, they will get humiliated that you didn't respect them enough by not offering them tea. But you know that you did not mean any disrespect. You see, it is the same situation, but people view it differently. We should see the opposing view as well. We need to be broadminded, and look at our fellow human beings as equals.
Q. My wife was not cooperative and we had a fight. I stepped outside briefly, but by the time I got back, she hung herself and committed suicide. Now I feel guilty, that I could have stopped her somehow. How can I overcome this grief?
Sri Sri: Whatever happened, don't sit and brood over it. Each moment is the start of a new life. Whatever happened, had to happen, don't sit and think I could have done this or that, it is of no use. Leave your burden, clear the mind, and move on.
Q. The state of society nowadays is very bad. There is suppression due to casteism and a large economic divide, and for a number of reasons, one feels lonely. How does one gather strength and gain self confidence during these times?
Sri Sri: Do you feel lonely here? (Audience says "No!")That's it! We have satsangs here and everywhere, so you should feel like a member of a "sangha" (group).You are not alone in your fight for justice and pursuit of peace or happiness.Truth will always triumph.
Q. What is death? What happens after death?
Sri Sri: First, find out what is life and what happens when we are alive!
Q. What is the meaning of karma?
Sri Sri: This is my karma to listen to your question, and asking the question is your karma, and whether you get an answer or not is your karma. Every impression, thought and action is karma.
Q. We do sadhana regularly, yet we face difficulties. Why?
Sri Sri: It is only when you face difficulties that you ask 'Why do I face difficulties?', you never ask 'Why am I happy?' when you are happy!When we face difficulties, sadhana gives us the strength to face it, to overcome it. Things have changed and will change. Have faith.
Q: How does one find one's true calling?
Sri Sri: How do you know when you are hungry? How do you feel pain? It's obvious, isn't it?Your true calling will also be equally obvious; it will be like a pain in your leg.
(Audience: "But it is so confusing to make a career choice!")
Sri Sri: Choice is always between bad and worse. So just accept it and make a decision!
Q. I am a student of media, and I am always asked why the media doesn't report the truth. What is the truth? Does it exist?
Sri Sri: Only truth has existence. Everything else is maya.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

There is no rest deeper than meditation

Bangalore (India), May 22:
Today, India has a new government. There are two pieces of advice for the new government:
First, advice for those who won. They should think that ‘We won, people have trusted us. So, we should be humble.’
Increase humility.
See those who lost with love. Sympathize with them. When a war is fought, it's a different situation: you fight. But when the war is over, the situation becomes different. Embrace the enemy. Start the process of healing wounds.
Now, advice for those who lost. When you lose, what you want doesn’t happen. Then many vikalpas (choices) arise.
These three vikalpas stop you from going on the right path, they cause harm to you. The fourth vikalpa is that, ‘This is the Lord's wish.’ This way, we get over the bad feelings, and get on with productive work. Calm your mind, and engage yourself in something constructive. There is little progress if you go into depression. There is progress neither in the Self, nor in society. The party that lost should think, ‘We tried our best, but what had to happen, happened.’"Karmanye va dhikaraste ma faleshu kadachana" – Do your duty, without expecting the fruits of your actions. Accept whatever fruit you get - this surrender to the past is true surrender. True surrender to God is not offering fruits, and garlands. Surrendering the garbage of the past to God is real surrender. God transforms this garbage into flowers, and fruits. So, don't be angry with the past, and don't go into depression.
There is no point in hate, and no point in doing nothing. The sign of intelligence is to surrender and move ahead. This happens in every country. There is war, victory and defeat. The people who win should show more humility, and be more respectful. They should believe: ‘The other party lost in order to give us happiness.’ If they think like this, then they won't humiliate the happiness-giver, and will respect the defeated.
God knows whom to put where. Accept God's decision. This is how people should think. Victory, and defeat are part of life. Recognizing this pattern, and rising above it, is the sign of an evolved human being.
Q. When clothes get smaller, we recognize physical growth. How do we recognize spiritual growth?
Sri Sri: Very easily. It depends on how you go ahead in every situation, especially bad situations. Do you deal with the situation with courage, and peace? If so, then, that is sign of your spiritual development. The more you smile, and the more you are happy, the more you are spiritually developed. Sometimes, in spite of doing a lot of sadhana, you get angry, and then you tend to think that you have not developed spiritually. Don’t blame yourself. Even though you get angry, it is not the same as before. Earlier your anger would remain for long, now it subsides. To other people, you look the same but if you look within, the anger comes and goes away quickly. Earlier it used to take five years, now it takes five minutes to go away. This is our experience. That is why you should not blame yourself when you get any negative sentiments. Witness the feeling and let it go. With practice, the consciousness becomes stronger. A plant has to be watered but when it grows into a tree, it is no longer necessary. Similarly, if the inner consciousness becomes stronger, all these vikaar (distortions) get erased. Vishranti vikar mita (Deep rest removes negativity). That is why people are jailed. They are tired of doing bad deeds, so we let them take rest. When they rest, the negative thoughts get destroyed. There is no rest deeper than meditation.
Q. What subjects is God testing us on? If we know, then we can study accordingly.
Sri Sri: God does not test, he takes interviews. (Applause). Not even an interview - interior view. All subjects are relevant. Hence keep meditating.I do not believe that God takes tests. Only an ignorant person tests. The One who knows, does not need to test. He knows the Past, Present and Future. People believe that God conducts tests so that they can get over it, it gives them courage.
Q. After how many years of sadhana do we get 100 % control over our feelings?
Sri Sri: No emotions are bad. But if they stay for long, then it is bad. Emotions should be like a line drawn on the surface of water. It is alright to be angry, but only for a few seconds or a few minutes. But, if it surpasses days and months, it is disastrous.
Q. People are being fired, and new jobs are hard to get. What should we keep in mind when choosing a new job?
Sri Sri: Don’t be too choosy. Just see how much you need to support a family. There are many choices, and there are many negative thoughts. Meditate, keep your mind calm, and then choose. But not during meditation! Do it after meditation, otherwise meditation won’t happen. You will just keep thinking.
Q. We get good ideas during meditation, but we can’t write them down. What should we do to remember them later?
Sri Sri: You must accept that the idea is there, inside your mind. It will come up when you need it. Accept that the idea is in a safe locker inside your mind. You can take it when you need it.
Q. How should one enhance intelligence and will power?
Sri Sri: There is no way. Not in this life, not in ten lifetimes. You have assumed that you have no will power; even Brahma cannot give it to you.Where is the lack of will power? You have it in abundance. Just believe this and use it slowly. And don’t spend it too fast.
Q. Does our past life karma decide who we meet in this life? In this life, are we meeting the people we knew in our past lives?
Sri Sri: Yes, perhaps. You know your mind always wants something new and the heart look s for something old. That’s why fashion is a topic of the mind. You want the latest technology, and the latest fashion. But if you like someone, then you believe that you have known them forever. The heart always takes pride in the old. That is why love is always considered as something old, or ancient. You have been there forever. You never say, “This is a fresh love of mine today.” You say, “Old is gold.”So heart, or emotions take pride in the ancient, and the old. The mind always takes pride in the new, the fresh, and the latest.
Q. If there were a flaw in the Divine, what would it be?
Sri Sri: Nobody can find any flaws or perfection in the Divine. Only when you see perfections, do you see flaws. However, the Divine has neither flaws nor perfections. The Divine is nobody. The whole evolution is going from somebody to nobody, and nobody to everybody. In a way, all flaws in the world are present in the Divine, because everybody belongs to the Divine.Vices, and virtues are only viewpoints. For instance, Lord Krishna is an incarnation of God for Hindus. Yet Jains believe that Lord Krishna is in hell, because he was the cause of the war (Mahabharata). This is just a viewpoint. Sri Ram did not kill Ravana according to Jain tradition. They believe that Ravana was killed by someone else. They have to believe that Lord Ram is completely non-violent. Many siddhantas (values) are present in us, that’s why we say saguna (with form), and nirguna (without form). In fact, our consciousness has no qualities, and no attributes. We are a combination of these two. When you become nobody from somebody, then negativity will simply leave you. It will no longer be a part of you.The human system is like an atomic particle. The nucleus is positive, and the circumference is negative. As you go deep, there are no more electrons. This is exactly how every human being is. The scriptures say there is God in the heart of human beings. He manages the whole universe, not sitting somewhere in heaven, but in the heart of every human being.
In the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna: ‘The Lord is in all beings, and is present in the space of the heart, my dear Arjuna.’
Q. How does one know exactly what one wants? Is it so confusing to know what one wants?
Sri Sri: This question is very confusing. If we have some clarity in the question, then the answer will be clear. Answers to unclear questions create more confusion.
Q. God is in the details, but we should also have a broad outlook. How do we combine the two?
Sri Sri: There is happiness in detail. When the heart is heavy, and the head is like a stone, there is no place for subtlety or details. When the heart is light, then you experience love, and happiness. There is no subtlety in sorrow.Being light is being dense, and being dense is also being light. When you go deep in meditation, you will experience both density, and subtlety. That is why so many processes are required to go deeper within you.In surrender, we feel subtle. Love is subtle, and work is dense. After lunch, we experience heaviness. In the morning we feel fresh, and subtle.
Q. Can evil people meditate?
Sri Sri: Anyone can meditate. When people meditate, they become good. I don’t see anyone as bad. If they are bad, it is because they do not meditate, or they are badly hurt, or they are deprived of spiritual knowledge. That is why anyone is bad.
Q. What should we do if we find opposition from our parents towards our spiritual practices?
Sri Sri: Do well in your studies, and they will allow you. Maintain a balance. Don’t be bookworms, then you would have no experience of the real world. You could gain a doctorate but become practically good-for-nothing. You can’t even handle simple human relationships. You become completely cut off from interaction with people, and are unable to gel with others. You are unable to contribute to society. You should be good at academics but be social, spiritual, and emotional beings too. Connect with the world. Don’t be caged in a box somewhere. This is very important. That is why, add a little bit of seva(service), and spiritual practices to your subjects of interest. They will always complement you. This would make your parents understand. Today a lady called me, and said: “My son meditates in the morning, and evening. What will happen when he gets married? What will his wife say?”
I told her that these concerns are to be discarded. The mother agrees that her boy has changed tremendously after meditation. She is worried about how his wife will accept this. This is a wrong concept – that one should not meditate, and that they should be ‘normal.’ Normal for them is really abnormal. We need to educate them.
Q. We believe that even a leaf falls due to God's will. If everything in this world happens due to God's will, then why does God give us unhappiness?
Sri Sri: You always have the choice to do good or bad. The fruits of your deeds are good or bad according to the choice you make. Don’t cry if you make a mistake. Just learn from it, and move ahead. But, don’t repeat the same mistake - that’s foolishness! At least be smart enough to make new mistakes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Think of serving, that is the right direction for every individual

Bangalore (India), May 20 (Wednesday):
“First you should think, what can I do for this world?
The people who only think, ‘What can I get from this world?’, become sad. Think of serving, that is the right direction for every individual. If you want to reach somewhere but are going in the wrong direction, you won’t be able to reach there, right?
If every member in a family, thinks, ‘What can I do for the other?’, then the family moves ahead. A family that doesn’t think that way will break. This is the state of business companies. Everyone wants to reap benefits. If four people start a company, and each partner thinks, ‘How much can I get from it?’, the company won’t work… it will be handicapped! Don’t have any expectations from others. Fulfill the expectations of other people to the best of your ability; do whatever good you can do.Whom do you want to be friendly with? When you believe that the other person doesn’t want anything from you. When people see that you want something from them, they will run away. Who will sit next to a thief?
Know this: Society does not expect anything from you, other than what you are capable of. If you are not a doctor, no one will expect you to treat them. If you know you can’t do something, then relax, don’t do it. However, it is wrong to not do something that you are perfectly capable of.
Know this: However good you are, society assumes you are better than your good qualities, and however bad you may be, society assumes you are better than your worse qualities. This is the law of Nature. There are some people who don’t think this way. Everyone is a thief in their eyes, and a bad person. That is their problem. We have to instill a sense of belongingness in society. No one should be an untouchable in society, even in politics. Human beings have the unique gift of being able to connect with other. Even birds, and animals have this ability. An elephant forms a bond with the mahout. Dogs, and cows form bonds with their owners. Every creature has this strength, it is especially strong in human beings.
We have to nourish this aspect in ourselves - one who has no enemies – ajath shatru. This is not difficult. We only need to have this intention. You don’t have to go to the Himalayas for that. Some people remain angry even after meditating for long periods of time. Arrogance about spiritual practices, is the worst type of arrogance. The fruits of spiritual practices (tapasya) are love, and a sense of belonging.
What does tapasya mean? The ability to remain calm in the midst of a storm is tapasya. Life gives you many opportunities to practice tapasya. Let’s go through the points again. What did you understand?
First: What can I do for the society? Don’t worry about your needs. Your needs will be taken care of, even before the need arises in you! This is called siddhi.
Second: Society wants only that from us, which we are capable of giving.
Third: Society believes that you are better than what your best qualities, and better than your worst qualities. So forget about what society thinks.Just concentrate on what you can do for society. Thinking in this direction is sadhana. When you celebrate sadhana, it is called satsang. Often people say, “Look at him, he’s doing sadhana.” But when you look at him, he looks unenthusiastic, and tired.A person who does sadhana should be bright, and cheerful. True sadhana is that which makes you, and others happy. That is utsav (celebration). Nowadays people who celebrate, and party are not happy. They spend money, time, and energy. You show off, and get tired. Your display of wealth does not benefit you, only makes others envious.
Q. I am 23 years old. How do I know when should I listen to my heart, and head?
Sri Sri: For work, use your head; for seva, use your heart. For business, use your head and lock your heart at home!
Q. Tell us the secret of sankalap siddhi (power of the intention)?
Sri Sri: When there is surrender alongwith having an intention, then it easily bears fruit. It is very easy for intentions to get fulfilled when there is surrender. Thus when intentions are fulfilled without effort, it is called Naishkarmya Siddhi. There are many references to Naishkarmya Siddhi in Vedanta. Even Adi Shankaracharya has spoken extensively on this – getting siddhi (result) without the need to act. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t work for it. You have to put in effort.
Q. Does God sleep, and get tired of us?
Sri Sri: God sleeps only in India. Here, as we know that God is sleeping, we don’t have any fear. We believe that since God is sleeping, we can get away with anything.This is a very deep topic. God is sleeping, and you are awake. Yet, you wish God a Good Morning, sing Suprabhatams, Balaji Suprabhatam, do Devi jagran. Scholars have established this –Humanity wakes up first and then they awaken God. This is a unique ritual among humans. Yet, there is something very subtle in this. These rituals signify that:In a stubborn individual, awaken humanness.In a human being, awaken the Divinity.
Like a seed that sprouts into a bud first, and then a flower, a human being blossoms only when humanness, and Divinity is awakened.God is present in every cell of your body. We think God is resting because he is tired. But no! Lord Vishnu (a Hindu God) is depicted lying down, and a lotus comes out of his navel, followed by Brahma. Creation came later, first the strength to nurture was born. (In Hindu philosophy, Vishnu is considered to be the Sustainer of the Universe.) Many people believe that God is tired after working. No, no! For God, creation is effortless. Like for a housewife, making tea is effortless – she can talk, sing and still make the tea.
Q. I feel that spirituality, and politics have separated in today’s world. How will the two meet?
Sri Sri: Spiritualize politics. We must also encourage spiritual people to take an interest in politics. They shouldn’t think that it is dirty, and for corrupt people.
Any post – a minister’s, chief minister’s or an officer’s post – is to serve others, not to enjoy your life. You get the post so that you can serve the citizens. It should be treated like seva. You have to neither hold on to it nor run away from it. Leaving a rank is not about leaving prestige or position. This should be understood. Politics is supposed to be an important limb in the administration of a country. In ancient times, kings, and ministers used to take a keen interest in spirituality. Those who were not spiritual, were unable to support society’s progress.
Leaders should have five types of qualities: satya-darshi (truthful), sam-darshi (equanimous), priya-darshi (pleasant), paar-darshi (transparent) and door-darshi (visionary). Then the country can progress.”

Friday, May 22, 2009

You have to let go (of the breath) to enjoy the fresh air. In life, it is the same thing

Bangalore, (India), May 19 (Tuesday), 8: 25 pm:
The heavy rains in the ashram didn’t dampen the spirit of the satsangees who continued to sing, and dance in Vishalakshi Mantap. As soon as Sri Sri stepped on stage, the audience erupted in delight, and satsang continued with celebration.
Following are the excerpts of the Q&As that followed:
Q. What can make us centered? If we are shaken, how can we come back to ourselves?
Sri Sri: Become more hollow, and empty. Practice more meditation. Do more seva. Seva brings the merit to go deep in. When you go deep in, the mind becomes fresh, energetic, and intuitive to do more seva.
Q. In the Isha Vaasya Upanishad, there are references to renunciation. What has to be renounced? What is tena?
Sri Sri: Isha vasyam idam sarvam, yat kincha jagatyaam jagat, tena tyaktena bhunjitha, ma grdha kasyasvid dhanam.
Tena becomes this world. It is a practice. This whole universe is being permeated by That. Enjoy the world, without getting attached to it. You have to take a deep breath in. But you can’t hold onto it. You have to let go (of the breath) to enjoy the fresh air. In life, it is the same thing. Letting go is important.
Q. Shiva is the Lord of the Universe. Who does He meditate on? And why?
Sri Sri: Shiva is not a person sitting somewhere. Shiva himself is meditation. Shiva is Shiva tatva. How do you experience it? By meditation. When you sit and meditate, you get in touch with the Shiva tatva deep inside you.
Q. Is there anything wrong in idol worship?
Sri Sri: You keep the picture of your beloved ones. Is the picture really your beloved one? (Audience replies: No). But still, you keep the picture. The picture is not the person – yet it reminds you of that person. That is how murthi puja is practiced in different parts of the world. Some don’t believe in it. If you don’t want to see God in a form, it is fine.
If you want to, that is also fine.
You are only seeing something that is beyond the form, in the form.
Q. How to retain the positive energy of the ashram in the future?
Sri Sri: Yes, by meditating everyday, singing and chanting.
Q. When we are entangled and cry out for the Divine, will the Divine come to help us? What should we do when we are in fear?
Sri Sri: Tell me, what is your experience? Is the Divine doing His duty properly? These questions are irrelevant. When you need help, the cry for help is spontaneous. You can’t plan what you will do when you’re in crisis.
Q. In our society, the people who break the laws are considered to be heroes, and those who follow the laws, are thought to be fools. When can we expect a change in this?
Sri Sri: Change is happening, and it will continue to happen. Don’t worry. Change will happen.
Q. Does the Divine feel like a human being? How can a simple human being be close to God?
Sri Sri: Only simple human beings can understand The Divine. If someone thinks they are special, they cannot.
First understand yourself, and God will chase you Himself. Ask yourself – Who Am I?
Anybody can do that.
Q. What is Guru tatva?
Sri Sri: You have a question, you want an answer. Wherever the answer comes from - that is Guru tatva.
Q. If something bad is happening, what do we do about that?
Sri Sri: First, you accept that something bad is happening, and then realize that you want to stop the wrong from happening. The wrong will stop at the right time.
Q. My friends want to come to the ashram, but don’t have the money.
Sri Sri: Don’t worry. Those who cannot afford must come. They have to come.
Q. What is the significance of the sacred thread?
A.: The sacred thread indicates the three responsibilities that you shoulder: duty to parents, duty to society, and duty towards the knowledge you receive in life. You have to disseminate the knowledge in life.
Once you finish the duties, then the thread is thrown – this means that you have taken Sanyasa (renunciated the world). No more duties left.
Q. What do you think about the election results?
Sri Sri: Good! It’s better that national parties come to power than smaller parties amalgamating. A party with a national agenda should be there, instead of smaller parties trying to bully each other.
Q. What do you think about the situation in Sri Lanka?
Sri Sri: Peace has to come in Sri Lanka. Still it has some way to go. It will happen.
A member of the audience stands up and shares an experience. “I did the Art of Living program in 1997 in Abu Dhabi. Since then my life has been full of joy. In 2002, I was detected with brain cancer. My sincere gratitude to Guruji. With his blessings, I have recovered. Doctors say I am a survivor hero. I have taken chemotherapy, radiotherapy and would like to tell all - do the Sudarshan Kriya, regularly and with enthusiasm. Do seva. "

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Love never questions the presence

Bangalore, (India), May 18 (Monday) 7: 50 pm:
“Every graduation, you are reminded of your duty. May the world become more prosperous, violence-free, and peaceful,” said His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as he was conferred with a doctorate from the Bangalore University at satsang this evening.
As the Vice-Chancellor of the university read out the citation, he highlighted Sri Sri’s work as a peace negotiator, and counselor, as well as all the work done as a social activist.
“I accept this doctorate with all humility,” said Sri Sri. “Vidya da darthi vinayam – Knowledge brings humility. I would urge all to remember what you need to do for society - social responsibilities, as well as personal responsibilities.
”Earlier during the satsang, Sri Sri answered many questions asked by the audience.
Q. Why do some people love others so much, knowing that they have nothing to get from them?Sri Sri: There are two types of joys – one joy is that from getting, another joy is giving. That’s a more mature joy. When grandfathers and grandmothers come to meet their grandchildren, they are not waiting for some gifts. They just want to be with them. With children, it’s the other way around – children wait for their uncles and aunts to get gifts. So the joy in giving is more mature than the joy in getting.
(A child from the audience shouts out - Happy b’day, Guruji! {It was Sri Sri’s birthday on May 13}.)
Q. How to feel, and experience the presence of the Divine all the time?
Sri Sri: Now you’re in Bangalore? So do you have to think all day that you’re in Bangalore? No, you know you’re in Bangalore, and you take it for granted. You don’t wake up and think – ‘Oh, I’m in Bangalore’. You don’t keep reminding yourself while eating, isn’t it? Take it in the same way – the presence of the Divine is with you. You know, a child never asks a mother everyday: ‘Mummy, do you really love me?’ and it doesn’t say ‘Mummy, I really love you.’ You take it for granted. Love never questions the presence. Never question love, never question the presence. It is there – you have to assume that it is there.Kuch maan ke chalo, kuch jaan ke chalo (Accept some things, and know some things).
Q. How relevant is the caste system in India? Do they help preserve tradition, and culture?
Sri Sri: No, no, you don’t have to worry about the caste system.There is only one jati (caste), and that is manushya jati (humankind). (Audience claps)
Q. How to reduce attachment?
Sri Sri: Why are you so bothered about attachment? Because it gives you pain, suffering. Small attachments always bring you pain. If the attachment is bigger, wider, and deeper, it always uplifts the spirit.
Q.: Why are there so many religions?
Sri Sri: Unless there are opposites, you cannot know even know this - that there are differences. So many religions are there, so that you can learn how to live in peace. If you don’t know disturbances - you will never know peace. You know that opposite values are … (Audience says: “Complementary”)
Q. What is the difference between sankalpa (intention), and desire?
Sri Sri: Desire is that which gives you anger, and upsets you. Sankalpa is having an intention. That is it! It works. Desires mean it has to happen now. In sankalpa you say, ‘Let it happen whenever it has to.’
Q.: What is puja, and prayer? What is the significance of Rudra puja? During puja, is it better to watch or meditate?
Sri Sri: Meditation! What is happening outside, is not important. With your eyes closed, you must feel that when the water is being poured on the shiva lingam, you too are getting an abhishekam (sacred cleansing) of chanting. Just sit, and get immersed in the chanting.
Q. Why does God hide from us?
Sri Sri: God has five aspects, and one of them is hiding.The aspects are: Shrishti (creation), Stithi (maintenance), Anugraha (grace), Laya (dissolution), Tirodhana. Tirodhana – means hiding. So God is in you, he is hiding too. God is everywhere, and is hiding.
Q. Who controls God?
Sri Sri: If someone controls God, he cannot be God. The one who cannot be controlled is God.
Q. How is it possible that you give the answers to all questions so quickly?
Sri Sri: Very naturally, and easily.
Q.: Sages say that only chanting Hari’s (God) name can give salvation. Then, why are yoga, and meditation required?
Sri Sri: Even to repeat a name, you need to have a certain presence of mind. Yoga gives that presence of mind. When the body is strong, and mind is focused, only then will repetition of any mantra give the required result.
Q.: Why chant the shanti mantra three times after meditation? Does it have a different significance each time?
Sri Sri: No, no. It means ‘Inner peace, peace in the world, peace in the soul.
Q. How can someone with a family life achieve spiritual growth?
Sri Sri: Family life is not contrary to spiritual practices. If you go deep into spiritual practices, then your relationships with people, with your children become better.
Q.: What is silence? How is it celebrated?
Sri Sri: (He smiles at the audience, and doesn’t say anything. After a few seconds, the audience begins to applaud.)
Q: Is a Christian God more powerful and caring than a Hindu God?
Sri Sri: God is only one. If people say that, ‘My God is better than your God’, then they are wrong. Just turn your face away.
Q.: What is the use of being born? Everyone dies anyways.
Sri Sri: There are many such questions. Why are there two eyes in the same place? Why not front, and behind? Why does everything have a lid, but not your ears? We can then see who is listening, and who is not. (Laughter)When we ask ‘why’, it is associated with misery. We never ask ‘why’ when we are happy. Understand why we are asking the question ‘why’! Wonder and question – they are opposite in nature, and also in the same realm. Wonder is a question, but not looking for an answer, or asked from inquisitiveness – when you really want to know.When a question turns into a wonder – life becomes WONDERful.
Q.: When a mother denies love, and tells her child that he is an unwanted one, what should the child do?
Sri Sri: You should know that the mother is saying this out of too much love. If the mother says ‘Get lost!’, and you really get lost, then she would be more worried than you. If a mother is saying this– know that she is just very stressed, and that she needs your care and help.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Be the master of your feelings

Bad Antogast, (Germany), May 16, 2009 (Saturday):
The satsang atmosphere was very meditative as most people sank into meditation to the strong fragrance of roses.
The Q&A session that followed with HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was, as usual, uplifting, and fun.
Q: It is easy to do seva. I love doing seva even when it is hard. My question is: Why is it hard to finish college when everyone tells me to do it? I know it is important to finish. How to induce commitment to do it?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just do it. For some things, there is no 'how'. If I tell you to open your eyes, you just do it. If I tell you to open your mouth, you just do it! (laughter)
Q: When I am in a group I often feel I don't belong to them. How to overcome this?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That must have been an old pattern. Take a step, take a leap. Tell yourself, 'I will be at home, come what may', and then you be the master of your feelings. Don't let your feelings rule you. When you are in a group, and there is discomfort, this is because of barriers, of the ego. Take a deep breath, watch the discomfort, it will disappear.
Q: What to do with good friends whose paths have just changed? There has been no growth since the last five years. Slowly, there is nothing to talk about but they are good friends.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You need to educate them.
Q: When someone loves another human being, and feels wonderful, and at peace about it, what is the fine line between attachment, and surrender?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you feel attachment, go inward, and when you move inward, you feel surrender spontaneously. Love, and surrender are linked. When you love, there is surrender. It is best not to analyze these emotions. You love the person, just move through that. Success or failure, change or non-change, that's how it is. It is inevitable.
Q: When I see people who are sick or poor, I feel for them very strongly, and I spend days thinking about them. How to let go?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In Patanjali Yoga Sutras, it is said there are four clues, ideas, or concepts on how to deal with real life situations. First, there is friendliness. If you feel friendly for those who are happy, you will overcome jealousy. For people who are suffering, you should have only compassion, and not friendliness. Be happy for those who do good work, who are productive, and meritous. For those who are doing bad things, feel indifference, not hatred. These are the four different attitudes in our life. If we practise these, we will save our 'mann' (mind). When any other feeling opposite to this bothers you, then reverse your feelings. When you feel jealous, turn it around to love. Feelings cannot be changed by effort, but only through intention.
Q: How to improve my self-esteem? Sometimes, I feel invisible. People forget about me, where I am.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be useful to others. When you do that, they remember. If you only think about yourself, then they forget.
Q: I am afraid of so many things especially death. How to overcome fear?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation, and Meditation. Meditation, and Knowledge: only two things will help you overcome this fear.
Q: I live in a family whose members are very anxious, insensitive, egoistic, and under-confident. I understand that accepting them as they are is the way you say, but living 24 hours in a surrounding like this takes a toll on me. I have done a lot of things over the years to address this, and I feel I am losing my life, enthusiasm, creativity, and love - again and again. Can you please guide me in this regard?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Know that I am with you. Whenever you feel low or unhappy – even to the slightest extent - know I am with you. Come on, nobody can be with someone for 24 hours. You sleep for at least six to eight hours. Then, two hours are for yourself - you bathe, you feed, you stay with yourself. If you have a room by yourself, (it's good to have a room), sometimes stay by yourself. Take a walk.Usually, we generalize, and eternalize problems. We think: 'I am always wrong. I always have a problem.' How can you always have a problem? Then, there is no problem as you are so used to it. Some people create problems for others because it's the only time they don't have any problems (laughter). Some people, who have no problems, create problems for others. Wake up, and see. It is wise not to eternalize, and generalize the problem.
Q: I am constantly afraid I will commit a sin, and God will not forgive my sins, including those from the past.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: C'Mon! (applause) Don't make God look so cruel. I will be your advocate. (applause) God is an ocean of forgiveness, of compassion. Don't put such ideas in the mind. Just move on. It's the temptation of pleasure that irritates you. But the greatest temptation is God himself. Do your practices. Read Yoga Vashista, Ashtavakra Gita, and this will bring you to the path. If something happens, move ahead.
Q: On my spiritual path I passed through different traditions. Last year I started to practise Kriya Yoga, and I thought I found my way. Now I am here practising the Sudarshan Kriya, and I found this is difficult to continue with Kriya Yogas as well. Can I do both practices or should I choose only one? How can I meditate without using the technique from another tradition if I have not done Sahaj Samadhi course yet? Finally, I would really love to stop seeking and changing spiritual practices, and know the spiritual path of my life. How can I know it?
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All practices you did in the past led you here. Don't mix practices. When you are in this path, stay. When there is no progress, I, myself, will tell you to move on. It is impossible not to progress here. Continue. Here you have silence and music, seva and fun, wisdom. Every aspect of life is covered, it is so beautiful.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Counsel for the New Government by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The people of India have voted for a new government. The leaders of our newly elected government need to be Satyadarshi (truthful), Samdarshi (equanimous), Priyadarshi (pleasant), Paradarshi (transparent) and Doordarshi (visionary). These values need to percolate all the way to every sphere of governance and our national public life. This may sound very idealistic, but the need of the hour is to pull the cart in the direction of idealism.
Firstly, corruption has to be rooted out. Every aspect of public life in India today is infested with this. This has resulted in large-scale apathy and lack of faith in the public process amongst the people. Legislation alone cannot root out corruption. The faith of the people and their participation is the key, and mindsets need to change.
Faith-based and humanitarian initiatives often generate greater confidence and encourage more active participation from people. To create a catalyst for change, the new Government would do well to create an independent agency of different humanitarian organizations to be empowered to become a watchdog for Government spending.
That said, the country needs stringent legislation so that criminal elements do not enter into politics. The new government should initiate a radical de-criminalization process at all levels to ensure that anti-social elements are rooted out from the government system. The new government needs to follow the footsteps of the US model to bring back the black money from Swiss banks.
Today, there is more than a lakh of court orders pending implementation, weakening the people’s faith in the judiciary. Radical measures are needed to clear this large backlog of execution of pending court orders and to remove corruption in the judiciary.
The development of India’s infrastructure is intrinsically linked to her overall economic prosperity. The new Government must have the wisdom to identify and replicate tested, successful models of development in the sectors of agriculture, small-scale industries, water conservation and flood control. The revival of the initiative to connect and de-silt India’s rivers to create an inland water navigation system needs to be taken up very speedily.
A drastic improvement in relations with neighbors and a fresh look at our foreign policy by the new Government is urgently needed. Today, India is like a sleeping lion allowing the fire to rage all around it without taking any responsibility. India should take the lead in bringing about peace to the entire South-Asian region which has become a global hotspot for terror.
As terror threats loom from sources inside and outside the country, India needs stringent laws and timely action to combat terrorism and cross-border infiltration.
The country needs drastic changes in the education system to make it more job-oriented as well as one, which breeds self-confidence rather than a slavish mentality. Students need to learn skills, have a questioning mind and strive for excellence rather than settle for mediocrity. Mahatma Gandhi’s writings including the commentary on the Bhagavat Gita should be made part of the text book curriculum in schools and colleges to encourage the values of Ahimsa (non-violence).
A thrust towards the preservation of India’s ancient heritage needs to be taken up to ensure that it is given due representation in international forums. India’s gift to the world: the timeless Vedic wisdom has not been adequately represented nor presented in international forums. Though Hindus are one sixth of India’s population, their rich traditions have neither been presented, nor have they been educated to do so at the international arena. India should take a more proactive role in developing language and culture. As Ayurveda and Yoga continue to gain mass international appeal, the government needs to put in concerted action to encourage this at the tehsil and village levels to ensure all Indians have access to it.
The National Integration Council will have to be modified, strengthened and made more active. Legislation alone cannot bring transformation. A council of religious and spiritual leaders should be established to bring in faith-based initiatives to root out extremism, eradicate superstitions and to bring in harmony in diversity. Spirituality is ingrained in the Indian polity. Since ancient times, Raj Gurus have guided and counseled rulers and in turn rulers have supported religious and spiritual leaders. Mahatma Gandhi had appeal to people across religious and ethnic borders, because of his spiritual approach. Spirituality brought freedom to India. Indian spirituality has given a secular ethos to the world. The need of the hour is a prejudice-free political system. The new Government needs to recognize this.
Our leaders today must have qualities of compassion, caring, courage, and commitment and take a leap of faith in high ideals to take the country forward. Sri Sri


Bad Antogast, Germany, May 14 (Thursday):
The satsang tonight was simply incredible. Possibly one of the rarest of satsangs.
It started when Guruji asked: How are you all?
Ok, now we are going to have a silent conversation. You have a question, and I will not say a word. You silently ask, and I will silently answer.
When the satsang group (representing the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa) started clapping, little did they realize that they were about to embark on an unforgettable journey. Guruji then said: Keep your eyes open, and sit quietly. What followed was a long silence with Guruji silently answering the silent questions. Did anyone realize when the time to talk again came?
20 minutes had elapsed!
Members from the audience then began to share their experience:Guruji, feeling your presence inside is the most beautiful thing, and I wish everyone can feel this. For every question, there was an answer but soon there were no questions.

Silence is most beautiful, Guruji.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mission Green Earth project

“We need to find ways of maintaining harmony in the environment while progressing in science, and technology. This is the biggest challenge of this century.”~ Sri Sri
His Holiness's birthday celebration started early in the morning at 6 am with Sudarshan Kriya.
As part of the ongoing Mission Green Earth project undertaken by the Art of Living, over 280 Fruiting Tree saplings were planted at the Foundation’s International Center in Bangalore, (India) on May 13. This day bears special significance as it marks the birthday of HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s birthday. The planted saplings are symbolic of Sri Sri’s commitment towards environmental sustainability, and preservation.
The Mission Green Earth project envisages the plantation of 55 million trees from the period of one year beginning June 2008.
Evening was Rudrabhishek performed by Swami Pragyapaad followed by few very interesting Guru Stories. Satsang and Prasaadam. A scintillating dance performance by little kids from Meghalaya was the hot mix of the evening.
Jai Guru Dev

When we finished in Bangalore, Sri Sri entered the venue at German Ashram. Celebrations continue for ever.
HIS Love Moves the World.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Celebrating it as a SMILE DAY.
Generating SMILES every where.
Jai Guru Dev.

For Guruji's Birthday tonight,Dinner and Satsang timings are changed.
The new timings are as follows:
5.30 - 7.45 P.M - Gurupuja,Rudrapuja and special Satsang at Vishalakshi Mantap.
7.45 - 8.45 P.M - Dinner at Dining Hall.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why does hatred come?

What Sri Sri said:
Arosa, (Switzerland), May 10, (Sunday): It is easy to tell someone not to hate. How not to hate? Why does hatred come? Because you think that they are the cause of our misery. That is why problem, pain, and loss arise. When you get a glimpse of consciousness deep inside, the Self is in everyone, taking care of all events. It is I who is playing that role. Me, in that person. Hatred disappears from the world around you. One who sees the being in oneself and oneself in all beings is like a director, he plans the roles. So he does not hate the villain. Your approach to events and personalities changes. We are like rag dolls. There is one consciousness in all. It is not only humans, all elements are part of that consciousness.
Whether water vapor, ice or water, all are One. All five elements are nothing. All are a part of that something that is nothing. This is the heart sutra by Buddha. So all is nothing.-
An excerpt from HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s commentary on the Isha Vasya Upanishad.

Monday, May 11, 2009


6.00 am - 7.30 am---Vishalakshi Mantap---Long Sudharshan Kriya
7.30 am – 8.15 am---Annapoorna--- Dining Hall Breakfast
12.30 pm – 1.30 pm---Annapoorna---Dining Hall Lunch Prasadam
5.30 pm – 6.30 pm---Vishalakshi Mantap---Guru Puja & Rudra Puja by Swamiji
6.30 pm – 7.30 pm---Annapoorna---Dining Hall Prasadam
7.30 pm - 9.00 pm---Vishalakshi Mantap---Birthday special Satsang, Kids Performance, Meditation & Blessings by Swamijis
Kindly come with Family and friends to celebrate.

Awake yet at complete rest

We lead life through three states of consciousness — waking, dreaming and sleeping. In the waking state of consciousness, we experience the world through the five senses. We seek elevation and joy from these senses.
For instance, we only want to look at something that is a source of joy, not at something likely to sadden us. If any one of the senses is missing, the entire dimension of that sense is lost. One who can’t hear is bereft of the whole arena of sound. Similarly, he who can’t see is deprived of all the beautiful sights and colours. So the sense is more important and much bigger than the object of the sense. However, each sense has a limited capacity to enjoy. After all, how much can one see or hear or touch? However beautiful a sight, one cannot keep looking at it. The senses get tired after a short period of time. The eyes close and we want to go back into ourselves because every experience is an expense of energy. Higher than the sense is the mind. The mind is infinite; its desires are many. But the capacity of the senses to enjoy is small. This imbalance in the system will remain.
Greed is wanting more and more sensory objects — even though a person can eat only so much, he wants all the chocolates in the world; though the amount (of money) that can be spent by an individual during a lifetime is limited, he wants all the wealth in the world. This is greed. This is what is prevalent in the world today. Giving too much importance to sensory objects leads to greed, giving too much importance to the senses leads to lust and giving too much importance to the mind and its desires leads to delusion. We hold on to the concepts of the mind and want things to happen in a certain way. Thus, the concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that’s a part of us. I’m not saying that the senses or the mind are bad. But we must learn to discriminate between things and be aware of what is happening at all times; that is when clarity dawns on us.
This is the first step towards the higher state of consciousness. Then, the fourth (or the higher) state of consciousness is somewhere in between the waking, sleeping and dreaming states; wherein we know we are but we don’t know where we are. This knowledge that I am but I don’t know where I am or what I am is called Shiva. This state gives the deepest possible rest that one can experience. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. In the waking state, one is constantly engaged in looking, smelling, eating, etc. The other extreme is the sleeping state where one is completely cut off and dull. The dullness and heaviness linger even after waking up. The more one sleeps, the duller one feels since a lot of energy is expended in sleep. Hence, the fourth state, where we are awake and yet at complete rest, is worth knowing. And we enter this state only during meditation.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The intellect divides and synthesizes.

Some creatures in the world synthesize and some creatures divide. But a human being has both abilities. Ants synthesize; they build an anthill and collect things together. A beaver synthesizes by bringing wood together to build a dam. Birds also synthesize (such as the weaver birds). Monkeys cannot synthesize, they divide everything. Give them a garland and they will tear it to pieces and throw it all over the place! A monkey can only divide and analyze. A human being both divides (analyzes) and synthesizes. The intellect analyzes the relative world to find the Truth. And Truth once found synthesizes everything into One. When the intellect becomes quiet, it brings out intelligence. Usually people think that gathering information makes one intelligent. This is not so. It is samadhi that brings intelligence. An unintelligent man, though he may have all the information, cannot be creative. An intelligent man, even without much information, can be creative. A sign of intelligence is to see the One in many and find the many in One.There is an old Sanskrit proverb:The first sign of intelligence is not to start anything. The second sign of intelligence is: if you have started something, you have to continue it to the end.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The different kinds of understandings

There are three kinds of understanding:
intellectual understanding,
experiential understanding and
existential realization.

Intellectual understanding says “yes,” it agrees.
Experiential understanding feels, is obvious.
Existential realization is irrefutable.
It becomes your very nature. All you hear will simply remain a jumble of words if there is no experiential understanding, which is more on the feeling level. You can know intellectually that you are hollow and empty, but sitting and feeling that you are hollow and empty is totally different. When one gets an experience, one wants to understand more about it and becomes a seeker. If you have only intellectual understanding, you will think you know it all. Most theologians are in this category. Existential realization contains within it both experiential and intellectual understanding. But it is beyond both of these.

Monday, May 4, 2009

That beautiful combination of commitment, and dispassion is the most important thing

Bad Antogast, (Germany), April 30 (Thursday):
“Life needs to be a perfect balance between sound and silence, between dynamic activity and stillness, between being funny and jovial, and then being serious. If one aspect is missing, life is incomplete. If you are only serious, and not funny, then it’s not complete. If you are only funny, you become superficial. You are not deep.
Silence is our ability to switch between them, this is most important. Your ability to be busy, and yet relaxed.
Your ability to be concerned, deeply concerned, yet completely dispassionate. If you are deeply attached to something, you are prone to get angry, upset or frustrated.
At the same time if you are only detached, you will be careless, uncaring, uncommitted.
That beautiful combination of commitment, and dispassion is the most important thing.
There are five aspects that make the individual soul connected to the Divine, or make the individual soul different from the divine:
So how will you know whether you have grown in life? How do you know if you have come close to God?
Examine these five aspects. These keep you separate from God. How ignorant were you five years ago, ten years ago, a year ago? How much more knowledge do you have now? Is there an improvement? Just imagine how you were before your first Sudarshan Kriya, and what you are now. Is there a difference?
H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your ignorance has reduced. That is Asmita. How unnatural were you before and how much natural are you now? How much more at ease are you? Are you less egoistic now? Are you thinking less about ‘Me, me, me, me, me’? Are you freer?
Audience: Yes!
HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The aspects of avidya and asmita have reduced? You are more with the nature, more natural. There is less of “I, I.”
The third aspect: cravings. How strong were your cravings before and how much have they reduced? Is it less?
Audience: Yes!
HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Aversion. How much is the aversion now? Anything that gives pleasure creates craving, anything that gives pain or displeasure creates aversion. Is it not less now?
And fear. Is this less? And it reduces further, as you practice. That is why, these practices are meant to reduce these five things in life and keep you close to Divinity, the Universal Spirit. And that is enlightenment.
Achieving enlightenment is reducing all these things to almost nothing, one percent - because as long as the body is there, this one percent has to remain. From 99 percent to one percent.
From the time you are born up to three years, these aspects are in a very small proportion. From the third year onwards, all these things increase up to ninety nine percent. And then through education and sadhana, you start to reduce them again.
A baby of two – three months doesn’t have much of these aspects - they are not afraid. Have you seen fear in a baby? Only when baby grows older - six months, one year – do the qualities of the mother begin to appear. Craving and aversion come in when the baby turns a year old. If the baby gets something sweet, then craving appears. When someone unfamiliar comes near, the baby will push them away.
That is when the individual spirit, soul, becomes more prominent. Before that it is only God, Universal Spirit. Universal Spirit gets back to individual spirit with this. Like air inside the balloon. When the balloon bursts, the air goes out. Like in life, when these five things are reduced – ignorance, ego, craving, aversion, and fear - then consciousness, scintillating energy comes up. It is satchitanand. Sat - truth, chit - consciousness, anand - bliss.
That is the balance - to have fun, but in the next moment, have the ability to be still, to be serious. To be very serious, but to be able to crack a joke. Serious people get annoyed when a joke is cracked. You should have the ability to switch from one, and tolerate more.
Similarly, music, and silence. Feel at home in silence. Some are always in silence, and some always listen to the music. Life is complete when you can switch between the spectrum. That is the Shiva element, Shiva dance. When Shiva dances, the world shakes, it is so powerful, such a dynamic dance. And yet Shiva can be absolutely still. These two aspects are expressed: one that is very innocent, and in the highest knowledge at the same time. There are people who are ignorant, yet innocent. Shiva is wise, and innocent. The complete range of life, consciousness, so alive.
HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Are the participants in the Teacher’s Training Course doing well?
Audience: Yes!
HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have no choice. You know what is very important, in Art of Living, when you go out in the world, you shouldn’t get lost in the glamor or in the fun. Have fun, but don’t get lost in it. It will be there for a few days, few months, then you will find yourself empty. How many of you have had this experience? But you never thought about it, right? Art of Living gives a lot of fun to you, meditation gives you so much energy, your devotion, and energy brings so much joy, and fun. But when we put our foot, and just get lost there, all this goes. Then we wonder why our meditation is not good.
I have said in one knowledge sheet: If you follow wisdom, fun follows you. If you follow fun, misery follows you. The sutra is just to be in silence. So you can have fun, but don’t get lost it. Got it? Don’t feel guilty. Some people feel guilty: ‘Oh, I’m having fun.’ Balance it. Know that you should not get lost in it. It’s ok.
Do you know that there are two types of devotees? One is a monkey, and another one is a kitten. An intellectual person is like a monkey. Like a baby monkey, clings on to the mother monkey, and follows her everywhere. The mother monkey doesn’t do anything, and the baby monkey does not go far away. The baby monkey clings on the tummy or on the back. The mother doesn’t bother. This is an intellectual person, conscious, aware.
Then there are the others, they are like the kitten. A kitten plays around, and the mother takes it with her mouth, by the hair, and carries it around. The mother uses the same teeth to bite a mouse, but she doesn’t hurt the kitten. It is the same with nature – it takes care of us like this. It is the path of love, and devotion.
An intellectual person is taking an action. In the life of the seeker, sometimes it the monkey, and sometimes it is the kitten. Kitten is when you are in so much love, hollow and empty, and monkey thinks and analyzes. It is up to you, what do you want to be?
Both are good.