Friday, April 30, 2010

What is the significance of blessing food?

Sri Sri Speaks
Bali 3 April

Q. At times I feel totally disheartened. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes we feel like giving up, frustrated. It is because of stress. That time do not take any decisions. You may regret it. Come back to yourself first.
Q: How can I get close to you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Assume that you are close to me. It is you who thinks you are not close.
Q: Is there life on other planets?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is plenty of life on this planet. Let us handle this. Then we can move to other planets!
Q: How do we know what to do in life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First know what not to do. It’s easier. Purpose of life is not to be miserable and make others miserable. It is a gut feeling. Chose which gives you long term happiness even if it gives short term misery. Choosing that which gives you long term misery and short term joy is not wise.
Q: last night you told me that choice is mine blessing is yours. Does that mean whatever I decide, your blessing is there?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are putting me in a tough situation. If it is related to your profession then choice is yours, blessing is mine. If it is a relationship, then also choice is yours and blessing is mine.
Q: What is the significance of asking if all the answers come from within?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What if I don’t answer? What is the purpose of all answers? So that the mind says YES! The purpose of all questions and all answers is to bring our mind to YES consciousness. That is meditation - to be in YES mind!
Q: I feel like I am not doing enough service as compared to the blessings I have received.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep going!
Q: I have seen people blessing the food. What is the significance of blessing food?
Sri Sri Ravi Shanakar: The carrots, noodles, salad that you ate yesterday are now listening to me. They are sitting here. Everything is alive in this universe in some way or the other. So today, when you have lunch, look at the food and welcome it to satsang tonight, to sing and to dance. Ancient people knew this and that is why they said to bless the food. Thought is nothing but a quantum of energy and consciousness. Food absorbs thought. So, bless the food today for lunch. Don’t think negative while eating. That is where the negative cycle begins. It is very scientific.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

All scriptures connect you with the Universal Spirit

Sri Sri Speaks Bali 3 April 
Q: How can I have positive qualities? 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you think you don’t have any positive qualities, you will never have them. Think that you have all the positive qualities – they are only taking a little time to manifest. 
Q: How should a teacher be? 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are two types of teachers. The first kind includes those who believe in scolding and pointing out mistakes. This is a tamasic style. The second kind will tell you that you have all the positive qualities. Some people who are a little thick-skinned may need a little strictness. 
Q. How is our life a holy scripture?  
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All scriptures connect you with the Universal Spirit. The scriptures give you comfort, like an air conditioner (AC). The combination of knowledge and meditation is AC for the mind - Absolute Comfort. 
Q. Is homosexuality wrong? 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is a tendency. It can change anytime. It happens to many people. You are a combination of your mother and father. Sometimes the feminine energy dominates, and at some other times masculine energy dominates. Don’t blame yourself. Raise above all this and see yourself in the light of wisdom. You are not a piece of flesh. You are that scintillating consciousness. Identity yourself with the spirit, which is beyond any gender. You will find such a relief! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meditation is the only way to transform fear & hatred into love

Sri Sri Speaks in Bali
Bali 2 April

Q. How do we know what we have to do in life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First, see what you should not do. The purpose of life is not to be miserable or to make others miserable. With this guideline, move on. Go by your gut feeling. Anything that gives you short term happiness and long term misery is not wise.
Q. How do we get over the fear of losing?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Fear, hatred and love are three sides of the same cycle. When one is dominant, the other two are absent. Meditation is the only way to transform fear and hatred into love.
Q. I want to do so much but I feel burnt out. Please help.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These feelings come up. Sometimes the mind says: ‘I want to run away from everything’. This is stress. Don’t take any decisions at times like this. First come back to the Self. Meditate.
Q. Is there life on other planets?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is plenty here. Let us care for them first. Not to worry about other planets now.
Q. Whatever decisions we take, are your blessings always there?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In your profession and relationship, choice is yours and blessings are mine. The rest, I will have to think a little.
Q: What is important in a husband-wife relationship?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A secret for women: Always pump the ego of the man. Praise him. He always has to prove himself in society. Don’t burden him further to prove his love for you. With her words, a woman can enhance or decrease the self-esteem of a man.
And a secret for men, don’t step on the emotions of a woman. She may complain about her father or family, but you don’t join her. She will switch the part. Don’t complain about her family. Don’t say no to anything spiritual she wants to do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Your luck increases when you do service

Rishikesh, India
14 march 2010
Q: Apart from the joy one gets in service, is there anything else also that one gets?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You get what you call good luck. Doing service increases your luck. But doing service in order to enhance luck will be cheating. You do service because you cannot live without that.
Do whatever you can in your capacity.
Q: I often talk to you in heart. How do I satisfy myself that my words have reached you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My job is not to satisfy you but to make you restless to get the Highest knowledge. In that restlessness you achieve awareness.
Q: I cannot think of moving away from the ‘Art of Living’. Is it attachment or restlessness of soul?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Once you have learnt a language and started to converse in it, you cannot forget that language. Same way once you have acquired knowledge, there is no question of losing it. It gets solidified in you.
Ancient people of India were so intelligent that they kept Laxmi(goddess of wealth) on lotus, and Saraswati(goddess of knowledge) on stone. Lotus does not remain stable on the surface of water and it moves as the water moves. But a stone is solid and stable. Once you get knowledge, it becomes part of you, not only for this lifetime but also for lifetimes to come.
Q: Is religion necessary to get deep into spirituality?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Religion is different from communism. Being religious means being compassionate, honest and not treating others as you do not want to be treated as.
Q: I feel fear of you leaving me. What can I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When Earth, air, Sun, stars cannot leave you, then how can I do that!
Q: Does time and mind have any relation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should read the book ‘Celebrating Silence’ or ‘An intimate note to the sincere seeker’.
Q: How do I know that I have acquired knowledge?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you know if you have some pain in the body? How do you know that you love somebody? How do you know you are feeling fear? It is inbuilt. Same way you get to know. When you get knowledge joy, happiness, cleanliness, sweetness, sincerity, integrity, all reflect by itself.
Q; How should be a disciple’s relation with the master?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What relation you want to have with yourself? A relation in which you are natural and without any hesitation.
Q: What is the difference between rest and laziness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What you get after doing work is rest. Doing nothing and keep lying down is not rest. You feel restless in this state.
Q: Present moment is inevitable. In spite of this knowledge the mind oscillates between past and present. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Is it better than before? Once you are here it will continue to get better.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

With regular Sadhna and Satsang, everything happens naturally

11th march 2010

Q. Guruji, in the Gita, Lord Krishna has said that people who remember him and serve him are more close to him. On the other hand, we say that God loves everyone equally. Please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, Krishna gives a long list of those who are very close to him. It is a long list. The 12th chapter of the gita is full of it. He says, the one who has no dislike for anybody, one who is compassionate and friendly with everyone, one who does not have extreme attachment, one who does not have ego, those who are equanimous in all situations – are all close to me. Don’t you also express whatever you like? Your liking something does not mean you don’t like anything else.
Sometimes Krishna also says this to create confusion. His work is to create confusion only. So when Arjuna was completely shaken by confusion in his mind, he asked Krishna to tell him one single thing(to follow). Then Krishna says –“All this is one. Even if I say different things, it is all one”.
Q. Guruji, what can tie society in one thread bringing all together for service?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You keep on doing service; others will automatically join. Don’t make an effort to make others join you. You just do it and keep motivating others. Ask them if they want to come along. They will also come. If you are enjoying doing service, others will also get motivated to do it. Leaders should be like this. But usually they want so much perfection that they end up annoying every one. In this kind of service people come once and then they run away. Nobody wants to work with a person who is full of complaints. So serve along with fun. When happiness comes from within with regular Sadhna and Satsang, everything happens naturally.
Q. Guruji what is tapasya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tapasya is that which you may not like to do but doing it is beneficial for you.
Q What is prayer?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Prayer means a call from the depth of the heart. When children cry, how do they cry? Kids cry for their mother with their whole body. When every cell of the body and every corner of the heart need something, then only you cry. Calling in an exclusive style – from your heart is prayer. Also when we do something with all our heart, that is called prarthna (prayer).
Q: How do we balance worldly activities and spiritual practices?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you walk? You lift up one leg and keep the second on the ground, and then you alternate this. This is balance. Can you walk without balance? A man walking in his senses knows what balance is. Just like this you balance your life.
If you leave all your work and only meditate, you will not even be able to meditate. And if you only do work and don’t do your practices, you will feel that longing for meditation. So listen to your heart. It gets pulled towards both. Balance both, do this as well as that.
Q. Do we get this human life only once? Have we come to this birth after being born as all other creatures?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is more important to be aware that you are born as a human in this birth. You are also here and I am also here. You do whatever is possible and see that you complete your journey in this birth itself.
Q. In what ways and to what extent should we oppose the few people who violate rules and regulations? If we don’t get the result after opposing then what should be done? Just because of fear we are not doing anything. What should be done?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sanghe shakti kalyuge means – only unity has power in this era. We need to stand in a group. Stand against whatever you feel is wrong. Write articles, make people aware about the happenings. Even today we have many ethical people. Include them all and take action together.
Q. Guruji what is guru tattva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You asked this question because you want to know something. So this thirst to know is discipleship. The one who answers is the Guru. The source from which you get all the answers in life is the Guru Tattva. We need answers to feel complete. The knowledge makes you complete. The element that brings fullness in you is the Guru Tattva. In whose presence you don’t feel any lack is Guru Tattva.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wanting freedom is a natural phenomenon

11th march 2010

Q. I heard about the ten avtars(incarnations of God). Please tell us about the kalki avtar? I am little confused.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are just not 10 avatars, there are 24 avtars of Lord Vishnu. Not only 24 but they have infinite forms and names, which means God is present everywhere in so many different forms. Kal means tomorrow. Don’t think that all avtars have already gone, one might be kept for the future also. 24 avtars have happened earlier and there will be more in the future also. So kalki refers to the future avtar. It was said that this avtar will come forth riding a horse. Horse in Sanskrit is called Ashwa. shwa means either in the past or the future. So ashwa means that which is right now. So kalki refers to one who is present in the consciousness this very moment. That divinity which brings together everything at this very moment, which takes away the feeling of separation from you and rekindles belongingness in you, is present here right now.
Q. Which is the energy centre in our body?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is energy centre in every cell of the body. Heart, mind, everything is an energy centre. The whole consciousness is a manifestation of energy.
Q: Can intuition be wrong?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Then that is not intuition.
Q.How do we recognize if a Master is true or not? Whoever gets connected to one’s master puts full faith in him but then there can be a wrong use of this faith. So when someone ask me this question, it becomes difficult for me to answer in a proper way.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are so many people in this world who betray their friends. Seeing this you don’t stop making friends. There are so many people who go to shops, steal things and go away. How would you feel being suspected as a thief when you enter a shop? So don’t be with that fear. Some doctors take out the kidneys of patients, then should people stop trusting all the doctors? Many time accidents happen, say a train gets off the track. Now should people stop traveling in trains because of this fear? This is paranoia. Listen to your heart. If your faith is true even if the master does wrong to you, it will not have any effect on you. Your faith will only raise you higher. If the master is doing wrong he will fall down, face problems, but it will not affect you at all. Your heart guides you to that which is right.
Q. Should one have blind faith in the Master?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Faith is never blind, faith is just faith. When faith breaks then one starts feeling that it was blind faith. Now don’t try to bring faith in you, it just comes by itself. In fact, I would say doubt as much as you can. Even then if it remains, that faith is authentic. That is why I say doubt as much as you can and my work is not to bring faith in you but to put you in more doubt. Your job is to swim through it.
Q. Guruji when I am angry I cannot control myself but later I feel bad that I have said something to someone. Right now when my mother was telling me to ask a question I was angry but as soon as I saw you, it vanished. What should I do to control anger?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You mean to say the switch of your anger changes when you see me!(laughter). Ok then keep on looking at me.
Q. I am crazy about your talks but tell me how to overcome the hurdles that you are creating on the path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t consider them as hurdles.
Q. I don’t like it when my wife stops me from coming here.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: She could be doing it because she might be worried about your dropping your family and becoming an ascetic. So you should give her the assurance that Guruji will not let you become ascetic in the first place.
Q; When will my family come on this path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t worry. Everyone will come to the path slowly.
Q: How do we ensure that the knowledge that you have transferred is transferred in the same pure form when we transfer it to somebody?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is why there is a methodology of teaching. When you undergo teacher’s training, it flows thoroughly in the same way. Teachers are trained very thoroughly.
Q: Where is Bhagwan(God)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It consists of four syllables - bh, ga, wa, na. bh comes from bhoomi(earth). One who has patience like Earth, fluidity like water, sharpness and focus like fire, subtlety like air and is all-pervading like space.
Q: Which is the best way to reach God – path of knowledge or path of devotion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You cannot like something without knowing about it. Suppose you like gulab jamun(Indian sweet). Knowing about its taste is gyan yoga, buying and eating it is karmayoga, and liking it is bhakti yoga. Devotion is liking something. When you like something then their arises a thirst to know about it. All three go together.
Q: Why do we want to be liberated?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wanting freedom is a natural phenomenon. What you feel after your exams are over is a little experience of liberation (moksha). In life also you burn in your own hopes and desires. These desires have only brought you misery. When you relax taking a step outside all this, there is liberation (moksha). When you sit for meditation with the feeling, I am nothing, I want nothing, and I do nothing - this feeling is the feeling of freedom. It is fun, it is freedom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The aim of life is not to lose awareness but to live in awareness.

10 March 2010, Rishikesh, India
Q: If alcohol is obtained from a natural crop then why is it harmful and hazardous to health to consume it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What I have observed is people who are into alcohol are very sad. Once the intoxication is gone, sadness dawns again and that too with greater amplitude. The aim of life is not to lose awareness but to live in awareness. To get rid of sorrow, awareness is needed. Intoxication will only stop it for a while and then it bounces back with even greater intensity. Alcohol spoils your health, makes your brain dull and gives rise to so many conflicts in the mind. It not only makes your life miserable but also the lives of those around you. If you want to lose your health and that too at your own expense then continue consuming alcohol.
People in villages earn a good income but they lose 60 percent in alcohol, and remain in poor financial and health conditions. You have a much better source of enjoyment – satsang. It gives joy to everybody – you and to people around. All other types of intoxications will seem dull in front of the intoxication you get in a satsang.
Q: Do we have a logical reason for not eating non – vegetarian food?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are three types of beings - Herbivores, Carnivores and scavengers. Carnivores kill other animals for their food. They kill animals and consume fresh meat. But they don’t kill other animals unless they are hungry. Scavengers eat animals which are already killed. A very few come under this category.
If you want to do some intellectual work or you want to be a genius, then non – vegetarian food is not good. Scientists like Einstein were vegetarian. For a healthy body and lightness in mind, vegetarian diet is best.
Q: It is said that after lots of merits one gets a human birth. Then how come the population of humans is increasing in the world because people are not very meritorious in the world today?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Population of many animal species like scorpions, snakes is also decreasing. Animals in forests might have taken birth as humans. You think over this.
Q: What do you advice to farmers?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The crops which were produced in abundance in India are now being imported and hence their prices have also been raised manifold. Earlier three crops were grown in one field and even if the yield of one crop is destroyed, the others would give the farmers a living. So this system of growing multiple crops would never let farmers be in debt. But with the hybrid crops you get a good yield only in the first one or two years and then it decreases the soil fertility. It leads to depletion of essential salts in the soil. So I suggest to all to adopt the ancient methods of farming. Multiple cropping yields a good profit.
We have also started a seed bank in Maharashtra. 1 kg seeds have been given to 50 farmers this year. 1kg seeds will give them a yield of 40 – 45 kg and next year they would be returning 2 kg seeds. This way 100 farmers can get free seeds next year. It will be good if such banks are started in Punjab and Haryana also. Farmers will be happy and we will also get a good crop. Otherwise the crops which we get with chemical farming cause pain and other illnesses in the body here and there. So multiple cropping and chemical free farming are the best solutions.
Q: Will you please tell us about BT crops? Why is it advised not to consume BT crops?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: BT – Bio tech. Yes we should not use it. Because of BT cotton thousands of farmers committed suicide. Also the virus emitted by these seeds affect many other plants too. 10- 15 years ago leaves of the neem tree never used to get dry. But because of BT cotton even that has happened.
It was also planned by some people to launch BT brinjal in India. But due to the collective voice raised against it, that issue has been subdued for now. Even France and America have banned those seeds. Research has shown that such seeds adversely affect the kidney, liver, heart, and cause a rise in cancer. But corruption was going to allow this to happen in India. Then they were planning to launch BT rice etc. That’s why it is so important that good people, saints and social workers come up, and people are made aware of all this.
Q: Doesn’t there arise any conflict between different religious and spiritual organizations?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are different methods and patterns but the ultimate aim is same – to uplift humanity. All are good. Inter religious seminars are conducted time and again. As far as my knowledge is concerned there are no conflicts between them.
Q: What is ignorance and what does it mean to be in knowledge?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you are bombarded by so many thoughts in solitude also, you are in ignorance. If you are calm even amidst a crowd then you are in knowledge.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A dip in knowledge purifies the mind

10 March 2010, Rishikesh, India
Q: What is the importance of bathing in Ganges especially during mahakumbh?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: it is believed to be good to have a dip in the ganges. However, taking a dip in knowledge is even greater for it purifies the mind.
Q: If a person feels emptiness inside in spite of having material prosperity and a good family, what should he do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: He should consider himself to be very lucky to feel that there is something more in life besides eating, drinking and sleeping. When you feel that emptiness within, then only the quest for the truth arises.
Q: What is the difference between prayer-oriented and meditation-oriented religion?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Everything has its own place. Prayer is asking from God and meditation is listening to the God. Both are important.
Q: Does astrology and planets carry any importance? There are so many television channels which talk about stones and planetary effects. Should one believe in those?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Astrology has its importance. Astrology is a science but astrologers are not scientists. So any astrologer cannot be trusted like that. What is shown on television is very general and not specific to one person. Planets do have their effects but know that you have much greater power than that. ‘Om Namah Shiva’ – this mantra is like a shield and it takes care of all planetary effects.
Q: Can a person struggling for livelihood progress on the spiritual path?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Some people say that to walk on the spiritual path you have to abandon your professional life. But I say you can continue pursuing your profession or business, and progress on the spiritual path as well. In fact, they are complementary to each other. Pursuing the spiritual path makes it easy to accomplish tasks in your professional life as well. Only listening to this knowledge doesn’t help. Doing your practices along with it is equally important.
Q: What is difference between love and attachment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Attachment is that which gives you pain. Love is that without which you cannot live. If love becomes attachment, then the same love which was giving you joy, starts to inflict pain. Attachment is when you want something in return. If you love and do not want anything in return, then that love doesn’t turn into attachment. I have talked about love in the Narad Bhakti Sutras.
Q: If we have come from God, we are a part of God and to dissolve in God is our aim then why do we do stupidity of moving away from God?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometimes you get bored of sitting at your home and you go for a walk. But then you come back. If you don’t come back home then people like us come to take you back home.
Q: Why is getting married so important in India?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: To live in a society, we have to follow the norms of the society. These norms are there to maintain orderliness.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Have patience, relax and pray

Q: How do we survive in a world where most of the people earn a living by illegal and wrong means?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do not think that all people survive doing illegal or wrong actions. There are many good people who survive doing righteous actions. One who survives on wrong means has only a very short period of survival.
In our scriptures it is said that a teacher, guru or saint is not to speak lie at all. A king is allowed to speak a little lie. A business man can go a little further. A businessman can say one’s product is the best even if it is not. Only that much lying is allowed. It is like salt in the food.
Q: I am in love with a guy and I want to marry him. But my parents are against this. Whatever I chose I lose the people I love most. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Try to convince your parents or try to understand why they are opposing. If they are doing this because of caste system or any superstition then you talk to them and make them understand. But if they have some other concern then you should try to understand their point of view also. Sometimes you are blindfolded when you fall in love. You are driven away by feelings and you cannot see what others can.
If you are not able to come to any conclusion then give time a chance. Have patience, relax and pray. Prayer has enormous power and it works.
Q: What is the finest form of karma?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What we don’t want for ourselves, we don’t do it unto others also.
Q: What is the best way to deal with the problem when you are passing through that phase?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want to keep problem to yourself? Drop it here before going. You can come here with problem but you can’t go back with your problems.
Q: When I am not in your physical presence I feel longing. But when I meet you that longing is intensified. Why does this happen?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (smilingly)I am like this only!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Both Science and Spirituality are needed to bring contentment to our soul

Q: After coming on the path I find it difficult to fulfill religious rituals. I don’t understand should we continue doing that or leave that. Please guide.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a couplet by Saint kabir:
karka manka chod kar,
Manka manka fer.
It is best to do meditation. But I don’t say one should completely abandon rituals. You perform some rituals on festivals. A little bit of rituals are good. But don’t be too much stuck with the rituals. E.g. if you had resolved to perform a ritual and due to some circumstances you were not able to fulfill that, then there is no need to think that God will be angry with you or you have acquired some sin. I give you guarantee. Maharishi Narada has also said ‘ God is total love’.
Devotion and surrender are greater than any ritual. A little bit ritual is necessary for two reasons. Children are introduced to religion and spirituality through the rituals. Secondly, performing rituals also purify the atmosphere at home. E.g. when all family members come together and do Pooja on Diwali, the atmosphere of our home changes. It is same when you offer Ardas in Gurudwara.
There is no need to be afraid of or feel guilty if you couldn’t keep up with the ritual due to any reason.
Q: Does past karmas affect our life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both past and present karmas affect our life.
Q: How much difference is there between science and spirituality? Why do not scientists believe in spirituality?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Evolved scientists surely believe in spirituality. Those who are not yet fully evolved may not believe in spirituality. Scientists like Einstein had said that he had never seen or heard a book like Bhagwad Geeta. If you hear a quantum physicist talking, you will feel as if the text is being quoted from the scriptures only. ‘What is this?’ is science.’ Who am I?’ is spirituality. We need both science and spirituality to bring contentment to our soul.

Friday, April 16, 2010

International Yoga Festival

March 4, 2010
Rishikesh, India

Q: Which are the most important values which can transform this universe into a heaven?
Sri Sri: Shift in our vision. This universe is already a heaven. What blocks us from perceiving it as heaven is our own mind. The mind clings on to the past or it wants perfection. It has its own ideas of perfection. This is about the universe. But if you ask me about improving the society, I think this is a question every human being should ask himself. I think we need to have a violence-free and stress-free society. The way to such a society is Yoga, Meditation and Service.
The gentleman continues - But I find 99.9 percent of people in the world are already good. But still that 0.1 percent dominates. Even if 10 percent people come together and say they don’t want violence and terrorism in society we can achieve this. How can this happen?
SriSri: The voice of truth needs to be heard louder. You’re right. It is time for the revolution. It has to be loud. People should come together. People should stand up for human values. It will happen.
Q: How can we stand together if we can’t stand for ourselves and don’t have a sense of satisfaction inside?
Sri Sri: when you have inner satisfaction then everything happens effortlessly for you. When you don’t have that, even small things become a struggle. Wisdom is about having that inner satisfaction. Wake up and see what is bothering you and why are you not satisfied? You don’t have food, you don’t have shelter, you don’t have money or you don’t have a companion? Pin point the area and then deal with it. You think when you have x amount of money or that much fame, then you will be happy. Wake up and see life from a broader perspective and you will see that this is not the truth. This is another illusion. Then you settle down. Meditation is the answer.
Q: The mind is running all the time. We are caught up in right or wrong. But when does the mind stop?
Sri Sri: (After a pause) Got it? When you are waiting for an answer, what is waiting? The mind has already stopped. When you are astonished, the mind has stopped. When you are in laughter, or panic, or fear, or when you are in deep love, the mind has stopped. Time has stopped. There is an experience of timelessness. Have you experienced that timelessness? Just sit on the banks of the Ganges alone and watch the water flowing. Suddenly you feel it is a moment of eternity. Same way when you watch the sun rise or set, moon rising or setting or watch a child playing, a sudden spurt of energy comes from within you and the mind is already still. You don’t have to wait for this to happen sometime in the future. It is happening here and now.
Q: If the soul is so wonderful then why has God chosen to burden the soul with the material world?
Sri Sri: Have you seen movies? There is a hero and a villain in the movie. Now what is the role of a villain? He creates some kind of entertainment. When do you feel your body is a burden to you? When you feel that your body is a suffering to the spirit. But you can’t call it a burden when it is a means to elevate the spirit. When you know the body is given to you as an instrument to elevate the spirit, would you still call it a burden? Shareer maadhyam paro dharma sadhna- This body is an instrument for dharma, all that uplifts the spirit. Don’t consider it a burden. Honor your own body. The soul comes to your body after great effort. There is a great rush. Many souls compete to get one body and one succeeds. So our body is a gift and not a burden.
Gentleman asks: Is liberation from the body true liberation?
Sri Sri:What is burden? Desires, cravings and aversions in the mind are the burden. Your craving for something or your aversion for something makes you feel it is a burden. Losing your body doesn’t make you lose your cravings and aversions.
Question continues: Why is the material world considered to be a world of misery?
Sri Sri:It is the mind which makes you feel it is a misery. This world is a part of the divinity. So instead of blaming the world, look inside.
Q: What is the one quality that you need to have to love everyone alike?
Sri Sri: An ease with yourself and everybody, simplicity. When you are open from within, then you can’t but love everyone and everyone can’t but love you. Neither you have a choice nor do they. You have done this as a baby. Do you remember how you were as a baby? Being natural, simple, innocent, without any barrier and free with everybody.
Q: When someone near to you is dying what words should we say to ease the pain?
Sri Sri: When someone near to you is leaving the body, your words would have no meaning. At those moments you just be there in silence. Those vibrations will work for them.
Q: If I as a person can’t change myself, how do I expect others to change?
Sri Sri: Do you feel you haven’t changed at all? (Yes came the reply) As much as you have changed, don’t you think others will also change? Nobody knows everything in the world. We all know something. In fact when you see the magnitude of knowledge, you find it can’t be completely known. But aren’t you obliged to give others whatever little you know? (Yes was the reply). That is what you have to do. The world doesn’t expect you to do service which you are not capable of. The world expects you to do what you can. If you are a doctor then people will run to you in case of an emergency. At that time, your saying no doesn’t make sense. And if you are not a doctor and are approached to do something that you can’t, you simply say – ‘I am sorry. I can’t do it.’ We do what we can and we ask pardon for what we can’t.
Q: I want to understand the relation between spirituality and the material world? Does material prosperity and the spiritual world coexist?
Sri Sri: Prosperity and spirituality can coexist but greed and spirituality can’t coexist. Unethical means of earning money and spirituality simply cannot coexist. If you have a factory or a business, you can continue do that and still be very ethical. You don’t have to leave your industry, which may be giving employment to a few hundred or more people, for spirituality. There is no need of saying materialism is bad and leaving that you want to go towards spirituality. That is not at all necessary. You can continue doing your duty. This is what is expressed in one of the scriptures ‘Ashtavakra’ where Ashtavakra told king Janaka that he can be a king and be totally spiritual. King Janaka was the embodiment of the highest knowledge. There are many examples like this. What I usually say is ‘keep money in your pocket and not in your heart or head’. When the money is wrongly placed that is when the problem arises. In India, materialism and spirituality are not in conflict with each other. Lakshmi – the symbol of material prosperity is portrayed pressing the feet of Narayana - the symbol of spirituality. We always say LaxmiNarayana which refers to the combination of wealth and spirit. But it is very important to note that greed and spirituality don’t go together.
Unfortunately we associate negative tendencies like greed and jealousy with materialism. Even if you have to do charity, you can’t do it with an empty bowl. How can you think of feeding ten hungry children with no money at hand? Is it not your dharma to feed them? In one of the ancient scriptures in India it is said ‘Righteousness comes from wealth. Proper governance is the basis of the economy‘. I think it is all connected. And the most important is the faith in the being, the highest self - the faith that I am going to get whatever I need and whenever I need. Then you give miracle a chance. Materialism is measuring every step too much. (Then you don’t know when the stock market is going to crash and banks are going to be bankrupt.) Don’t bank your faiths on the banks but bank your faith on the divinity and the power of your own sankalpa(positive sankalapa) and thoughts.
Q: Guruji I work in a hospital where people are dying and I am hoping to bring this yoga there. I am facing a little difficulty in understanding what is the difference between the yoga of living and the yoga of dying?
Sri Sri: You must have heard by now, yoga has eight limbs.. I don’t know how much of pranayama and asanas(postures) you can make someone do when they are sick and dying. It may not be possible at all. Some good bhajans(uplifting music), soft and instrumental music will also help. This is called laya yoga. Some words of wisdom will help. This is gyan yoga. Your mere presence there will help. Your being there without any effort will help. When we are in the ‘doing’ consciousness, thinking what to do, we reduce our energy. When we are in the ‘being’ consciousness, suddenly the light, air and energy come in you. You can make them feel better with that presence and energy of yours.
There are three things which are very important whenever you sit for meditation:
1. I want nothing for next 20 minutes or half an hour.
2. I do nothing.
3. I am nothing.
Any effort is an impediment in meditation and so ‘I do nothing’. And then if you have any notions about yourself, I am rich, I am poor, I am intelligent or I am stupid, you can’t go into meditation. You cannot progress on the spiritual path. So you have to come to this – I am nothing.
These are the three golden rules which I feel are very important and with which you can sink deep into meditation.
Q: We talk about serving humanity. As a human being I have limited knowledge and based on that I believe in a cause and work for that cause. But if later, down the line, I realize the cause was not worthy, then being a person with limited knowledge haven’t I made this world a worse place than it earlier was? Can we serve the humanity before having perfect knowledge?
Sri Sri: If you wait till you get perfect knowledge, it’s not going to happen. When you do service, you gain merit and that merit helps you to go deep into yourself. So service helps you gain merit, merit takes you deep into sadhna(self-effort and practices) and sadhna makes you come up and do more service. It is all cyclically connected. So it is not going to be complete if any one aspect is missing.
Q: How do I know that the service that I am doing is right?
Sri Sri: You ask the people whom you are serving. If someone doesn’t want to cross the road, don’t drag them on the other side (Laughter follows). Service is that which is needed by the people.
The gentleman continued to ask what if someone wants drugs.
Sri Sri: Then that is not service in the first place. Don’t call it service if someone wants to kill someone else. You have certain basic human values. Anything that destroys human life is not a service.
Don’t regret about the past however it has been. You have learnt the lesson. Just accept it and move on, learning from it.
Gentleman continued to asked that should one act on the best judgment one can make at present.
Sri Sri: Your consciousness will tell you that it is wrong and you should not do it.
Q: Can you throw some light on Bhakti Yoga?
Sri Sri: If you sit in the Ganga aarti in the evening, you will find everybody singing so beautifully and a wave of devotion. Bhakti yoga is seeing the Divine as mine and oneself as belonging to the Divine, and all that exists belongs to the Divine.
Q: Guruji we have heard the terms spirituality and enlightenment so often. There are very abstract definitions of the terms. Would you please throw some light on these?
Sri Sri: (Jokingly) You want me to add more confusion to the words and give you one more definition! If I have a choice I would take away all the definitions and leave you in confusion because from that confusion something flowers up in you. My understanding is not going to help you. It has to come from within you. When you wake up and see, you will be surprised. I would like you to experience that WOW. Don’t make it a concept. If you don’t know what enlightenment is, thank God and say ‘ I don’t know what enlightenment is. Let me wait for it.’ It is the concepts that keep us away from experiencing the reality. That’s what I feel.
Q: I would like to know about your views on this wonderful time on the planet when service is accelerated and technology is connecting the world, when we have the opportunity to make this world a one world family, when teachings from the teachers like you are spreading all over the planet and we have a chance to evolve spiritually. At the same time planet is facing dangers that the old ecological and political structures are not sustainable anymore. We are coming to a choice point where we are ending one paradigm and accelerating in a spiritual paradigm. Also so many souls are incarnated at this time. And wonderful events are happening like this to accelerate that. Would you please speak on that?
Sri Sri: I think I have said it all. All the lines between different disciplines are blurred now. I remember when I was in school there was a thick line of difference between physics and chemistry, and they were thought not to be connected. Today, whether it is astrophysics, physics, knowledge about the spirit or information technology, all have come together. Environment and spirituality are not two different things. Perhaps the ancient people of this country knew this. They worship the trees, mountains, rivers etc in nature. And it is true for all native civilizations in the world. They honored nature. They took care that they care for nature and progress and development was aligned with the sustainable conditions on planet Earth. The most needed thing today is – Globalizing wisdom. There are two types of calamities – one is natural calamities like earthquakes. And second is man - made calamities. Man - made calamities can be overcome by wisdom and a Cultural Revolution, and by spreading this knowledge of a one world family. We are anyway one. There is no two.
Natural calamities can be overcome by caring for the planet, planting more trees, preserving water, by spiritual energy and with the thought that you are one with the vishavatma(Universal soul). An intention or thought that you are one with vishatma and a little attention manifests itself.
Q: I was thinking since I was a small child that what the original sin is? I never got a satisfactory answer as it couldn’t be about the apple. I wanted to know if you could explain from your perspective what is it all about or is it all a lie?
SriSri: I am not a theologian in the first place and so I haven’t studied the original sin concept. So I cannot comment much on that. All I can say is that from Indian perspective sin is that which brings misery to many and merit is that which brings love, happiness and joy to many. Sin is something that could be washed out. It is not your nature. If sin is your very nature, you can never get rid of it. Like if mud is your skin, you cannot get rid of it. But if it is on your skin you can take a dip and it will get washed away. If the flaw is inside the diamond, it can’t be corrected. But if slush is on the diamond, it just needs a little water to be poured on and it gets clean.
Here in India we consider sin as a superimposition. There are three things in the yoga- malah, avarna and vikshepa. Malah is impurities in the body, vikshepa is impurity on the mind , restlessness and disturbances in the mind and avarana is the sheath which covers the spirit, which is the ego -identification with one little thing. And the purpose of yoga is to clean the three sheaths of impurity. Yoga loosens up all the three sheaths of impurities. And then the true spirit which is part of the divinity shines through.
So I don’t consider sin is your nature but sin is that which you have acquired due to ignorance. And with the light of knowledge it just disappears.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is there any formula to have peace at home

Q: Is there any formula to have peace at home?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have asked a very difficult question! But its answer is very simple. You keep on smiling irrespective of what happens around you. If noise is there, accept it. If somebody is shouting, let it be for some time. Try considering the whole atmosphere of your home as if you are watching any television serial. Do you get upset when you watch television? Some people were telling me that same arguments take place on television which happens at their homes also. Think as if some live show is going on at home. And only a camera is missing. When you remember this thing and see yourself as the director and not actor, then at least you will have peace in your heart. And up to what time others will play their role? They will be tired in sometime. All this trouble is in wake state, neither in dream nor in sleep. God has granted you few hours of sleep and some other routine activities like bathing etc. take some more time. So at least for these ten hours, you are at peace. (Jokingly)And enjoy the other 14 hours show. What else can you do? But if you want to enjoy, remember not to be the actor.
Q: How should be one’s relation with the Master? One is an ordinary person and other is a person with so many powers. Should it be like a friend or a beloved?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Let love be love. Don’t give it a name. Love is above all relations. Being in love with the master is like being in Love with the divine. Master, God and spirit are not different. These all are one. Only one exists – one non dual existence. Everything is divine.
Q: What is the meaning of Kumbh?
(The Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism. The word Kumbh means 'pot' or 'pitcher' and Mela means 'festival' that is why it is known as "the pitcher festival". It is a fair that energizes your mind and soul) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wherever people come together and do satsang, that is kumbh.
Q: Do planets have any effect on us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, planets do have an effect on us. But the effects are minimal on those who are on the path of sadhna, satsang and knowledge. For those, negative effects reduce and positive effects start to increase. It’s like when you take umbrella under the hot sun, you feel less heat on your head. Practices and mantras are the solutions.
Q: Should one believe in the horoscopes?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If your mind says you should do it, then you should. But that shouldn’t be given too much importance. Sometimes the recorded time or place of birth may not be accurate. There are many issues involved. So neither should we totally ignore it nor should we take it to be exactly right.
Q: Is it ok to be driven by emotions?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The difference between a human and a stone is that, humans have emotions. When feelings are combined with wisdom, then that is good. It’s like when water flows between two banks, we call it river. But if water is scattered all over the place, then that is flood. In life, along with intellect, feelings are also to be nourished. To maintain a balance between intellect and emotions is wisdom.
Q: What is liberation? Is it possible to be liberated in this birth?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is possible in this birth only. You should listen to Ashtavakra (A commentary by His Holiness ).
Q: How can I be contented? Lots of needs keep bombarding the mind.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Tell me one thing. Are you contented today?
(The gentleman said ‘No’)
What do you need?
(The gentleman continues ‘I need to have something after having what, all my desires are pacified)
It’s good if you are aware that lots of desires are disturbing you. This desire - I want to get rid of all desires, is called mumuksha.
Q: Can you please talk about our karma governing our future?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, your karma forms your future. I have talked about all these things in the book ‘An intimate note to the sincere seeker’. You should read that.
Q: What should we do when nothing is in our hands and we don’t understand what should be and what shouldn’t be done in a relationship or career?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should meditate then. When you are so much deluded and confused, meditate for some time. You will find clarity dawning instantaneously.
Q: What question should I ask?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My dear, you are asking me to tell you question also! Is it your New Year resolution not to use your brain come what may? You want to borrow even questions! No way. The questions have to be yours. It’s not school where they give you questions and you give answers. Here you have to come up with the question. And you don’t have to; if it comes up in you then that is your question. Nobody can tell you what question you should ask, what you should prayer for or what you should seek. It is a spontaneous outcome from within. Need is not to be dictated by somebody or anybody. Need is that which arises from within. In reality when you come in this energy all questions in you disappears.
Q: How to be in the present moment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (Making a snapping sound with his fingers) Like this. Are you here now? (The lady nodded with a yes). Then be here now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Responsibility is that which we can do.

Q: Guruji, in your company we feel as if Vrindavan has been created here and now only. But when we move out in the world, entanglements cling on to us again. How to be free from that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep coming again and again. Have you noticed that the entanglements do not cling on to you with the same intensity as it used to be earlier? That grip is loosened. Gradually, when you become more centered, those worldly things do not distract you anymore.
Q: If one rotten apple spoils others in the basket then how can we handful of people can make this world a healthy and safe place to live in? There are little more bad people than good ones in the world.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is not the case in reality. There are more good people in the world than there are bad ones. There is more love in the world than hatred. There is more happiness than misery. But it seems the other way around. Don’t blame the society. You have a responsibility and you carry on fulfilling that. Continue spreading satsang (company of truth). Same was done by Mahatama Gandhi. Before independence in India, people were so depressed thinking they would be enslaved forever. So what did Mahatama Gandhi do? He started to have satsangs across various places in the country. People got courage from that. Same way we need to spread that a wave of satsang and awareness, not that of hatred.
Q: Guruji, you can do anything. So why don’t you erase all corruption and violence from the world and make it perfect?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (Jokingly) This is a very clever way that you have adopted to skip! If I do everything, then what would be left for you to do! Why have you come in this world at this time? You also have a role to play. It will be a monologue if only one person plays all the characters in a play. I haven’t come here to do that. I am not here even for dialogue but I am here for multi - logue (Laughter). Everyone should play his/her own role.
Have you heard the story of the squirrel? When Sri Rama was building setu with his army of monkeys, a very little squirrel was putting sand in the water. Some members of the team laughed at how much this little squirrel could contribute. But that squirrel was very happy playing his role in Sri Rama’s army. He was happy thinking that he also has his job to do. Sri Rama felt very happy and blessed the squirrel moving his hand at his back. Because of his small size, only three fingers of Sri Rama covered his whole body, and he got mark of three lines on his back. This can be a fictitious tale but the message is - we also have a responsibility even if God is doing everything. Whatever we can do, we do that.
Responsibility is that which we can do.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Faith which can withstand doubt is authentic

Q: How do we differentiate between devotion and blind faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Blind faith is that which do not give you any positive result. In blind faith you move on with notions that you have heard from people here and there, and carry similar hopes with you. Either you are deluded or you are there for fulfillment of any strong desire or craving holding on to you.
Q: You often say we all are like your hairs and you come to know even if one hair is stretched. I have been pulling your hairs since many days, but it seems as if you haven’t noticed it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (With a naughty laughter) yes, some of the hairs seem to have been uprooted!
Everything has its own time. If you pray and wish all your prayers get fulfilled today itself, it is not possible. Have patience. (Making a gesture with his hands where right hand is facing audience and second is slanted downwards, and both palms shown above) Have you seen hands of all Gods and Goddesses like this? Same for Laxmi, Vishnu…Do you know its meaning? Have patience, I am giving. This is one meaning, when you need something. Another meaning is – come, surrender and you find there is no need to be afraid of anything whatsoever. (Right palm raised and facing audience) This is called abhaya mudra. Abhaya means without any fear. (Left hand slanting downwards with palm facing sky) And this is called Varada mudra which indicates - I am giving you whatever you want.
I don’t mind even if you ask for more.
Q: Guruji, what should a devotee do if his faith is shaken?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Shaking of faith and devotion sends you a message about the strength of your faith. What is the need to be afraid of? Shake it as vigorously as you can. I would say only that faith is authentic which stays even after shaking. This is job of the master– to shake the faith and let it grow stronger. Guru doesn’t build your faith but he shakes your faith. This is the strategy moving from ancient times. When the faith shakes, it reveals that it can be made stronger. If it is authentic, anyway it will grow strong. In the whole process you realize, this is all mere a play of mind. Faith and devotion were always present. Devotion towards truth can never disappear. This is maya(illusion) of the mind which makes you feel it is shaken.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What is the significance of Kumbh mela?

Rishikesh (India), March 3:
Q: Does the master find disciple or disciple finds the master?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How does it matter whether you find master or the master finds you? It is sufficient that both have met.
Q:Does guru come at the end of a yug?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Not just at the end. He can come at any time. Jab guru aate hai tab naya yug shuru hota hai. Shuru mein bhi aate hai, beech me bhi, ant mein bhi. (When the Master comes, a new epoch begins.)
Guru is not a person. Guru is embodiment of wisdom.
Q: What is the significance of Kumbh mela?
(The Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism. The word Kumbh has been derived from the Sanskrit word Kumbh meaning 'pot' or 'pitcher' and Mela means 'festival' that is why it is known as "the pitcher festival". It is a fair that energizes your mind and soul)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ganga is a symbol of knowledge and Yamuna symbolizes love. Prayag (where Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet) is the unity of love and wisdom. When love and wisdom meets, celebration happens.
Kumbh means coming together of saints, scholars and katha vachaks(story tellers). They participate in discussion and meditation with the sankalpa(positive intention) of universal benefit. People needn’t go to all the different places. They can all come to one place. The concept of mela started in India. Nowadays we call it expo. There are expos for motors, books, clothes, to present all the products in one place. On similar concept all the saints used to congregate in one place once in 12 years. In those days transport facilities were not so extensive and traveling would take so much time. Kumbh mela provided an opportunity for people to converse and exchange knowledge with each other.
If you see it from planetary perspective, Kumbh happens when Jupiter enters Aquarius. By bathing in the Ganges the chitta (consciousness) becomes joyful. Your consciousness is purified. The sins are washed away. It's so beautiful. The sins are so superficial that just by a dip in the Ganges they can be washed away. The ever-pure consciousness can never be dirtied.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meditation is absolute comfort for the mind

Rishikesh (India), March 3:
Q: Please talk about spirituality. People have so many notions of spirituality and meditation. I don’t understand what does it actually mean?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We want to achieve success in professional life. Isn't it? That's why we take up an enterprise or profession. That provides you means to have comforts for the body. Yoga, meditation and spirituality are about giving comfort to your soul. When the room is very hot, you switch on the air conditioner to give some comfort to the body. AC (Air conditioner) for the mind is meditation – Absolute Comfort to your mind.
Q: Is criticizing anyone bad?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In life we don’t want anyone to think badly about us. We don’t like if a few people say bad things about us. Do you also do same with people? Of course, you can't always say that all the apples in the basket are good. Sometimes you have to criticize. But when you criticize, let it come from your lips only and not from your heart. Don’t hold on to it in the mind. Don't hate anyone. It harms only you and no one else.
Q: Guruji, what has more significance - doing the Sudarshan kriya or praying to you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are important. You are the one who prays. It's you who does the Sudarshan kriya. All this is for you, so that you can become centered and so solid that no one can take away your smile. This capability is only within you. If you don’t want, then nothing is possible. Everything depends on you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

When you look back in life see how much you have changed.

Rishikesh (India), Feb 28:
Q. A marriage has two - wife and husband. I love satsangs, but my wife is against sadhana and satsang, how will our marriage move on?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Use yukti (skill). It’s a test of how good a sadhak you are. You stay put, she will gradually come around and she will also become happy. If you drop your practices and go behind her even you won’t be happy.
Q: How to get rid of laziness?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar If there is greed, laziness will go away. If there is fear, laziness goes away. When you are in love, there is no sign of laziness.
Q: How to get rid of lust?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar It has come from birth. If you keep thinking about it, it will become stronger.
The same vasana is transformed into joy and love. When there is contentment and masti, the lust automatically fades away. When the sun is shining, you don’t need a torchlight.
Atma rati - atma me rati lag jaye, ishwar me man lag jaye. (Mind settles into consciousness).
Q: Guruji, what is the difference between laziness and rest?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Sharir ko aaram, man ko vishram to ban gaye tum atmaram. (When the body is at rest, mind relaxed, then you are one with Consciousness).
With the rise in tamoguna, laziness develops in the body. When there is no tamoguna, then you get vishram.
In laziness, you don’t gain energy and strength.
If you rest well, you get energy and strength. If you sleep for seven-eight hours, you feel fresh.
If you are simply lying around, there is no enthusiasm, no strength, no freshness. The body is tired, the mind struggles with desires. When body gets rest, and the mind has no feverishness, that is happiness. It brings you strength. Sankalp siddh hone lagta hai. (Intentions start getting fulfilled).
When the mind is ridden with thoughts, then sankalpas don’t come true. When you are happy, sankalpas come true.
When you have desires, you become unhappy and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Try giving your desires to someone at least for sometime. Desires exhibit your tendency to want more. Keep it aside for sometime. See, everything fills up.
At least for sometime, akinchan aur achaha hokar vishram karke dekho. (Become nothing and desireless and experience the relaxed state.)
Q: I don’t seem to have changed much after the Sudarshan Kriya.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar See, there are two things: we think I haven’t changed. Ask any old man whether he is old. He will get angry. He says, “I am only 70, I am not old.” Within himself, he doesn’t think he has become old. There is something inside us that doesn’t change, it remains the same.
That's why we think we haven’t changed. Think about it.
From another angle, there are so many changes in you, you are not the same as you were two months ago. Wherever your eye falls, you see I am not the same. I don’t think as before, feel as before. Then you think you are progressing in life. Some walk slowly, some take a big leap.
He, who takes a leap feels it’s a big change. Even if one does not experience a dramatic change, gradually the change happens.
When you look back in life see how much you have changed.
Q: I feel hurt with people talking negative things.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar We give rise to others with our perceptions. If you look upon someone as a friend, that would be beneficial for you. If you take them to be your enemy, then that will happen.
Q: What is seva for a student who has lots to study?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar You must study and keep doing little seva. It doesn’t matter how much seva you do. Do according to your capacity, with your heart in it. That would be equal to doing seva like anyone with great capabilities.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let the limited ego dissolve in the Universal ego

Rishikesh (India), Feb 28
Q: Guruji, it is said that God is in all. Then how are the avatars different?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Avatar means one who has come down. Those who want nothing, they come for the wellbeing of all. They haven’t come for themselves - either to enjoy or burn karmas. They have come for jankalyan (welfare of all).
Q: How do we save ourselves from bad thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We become what we think. Especially for a devotee what he thinks comes true. But this power of thought is with the devotees only. When you become a devotee then you do not get bad thoughts. With devotion, all vikalpas go away.
Q: Is it important to take bath in Haridwar during Kumbh or will bathing in Rishikesh suffice?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s perfectly ok to bathe in Rishikesh. You can take a dip wherever the Ganges flow.When such parva comes, Ganga comes to every home. In South India, during Diwali the Ganga snan (bath) is done. The usual greeting is, “Have you done Ganga snan?” If you take a cold water bath in the morning, it means you have done Ganga snan.
On the banks of the Ganges, many sadhus do penance and they transfer all the merit in the waters of the Ganga. Teerth ko Sant Puneet banate hai – Teerthani pounaynti sataha!
Jaise teerth sabko puneet karte hai, sadhu ganga ko puneet karte hai. (Just as the Ganges purifies all, the saints purify the Ganges.)
The Ganges is chaitanyamayi (enlivened) hai, brahma roop hai.
As soon as you bathe you feel fresh and new. All the impurities of the mind are washed away. The mind becomes healthy.
I wouldn’t say the same for the Ganges at Kanpur and beyond. The Ganges water should be kept pure. If the Ganges is polluted then its benefit won’t be to the extent of its fame.
Q: Can you please speak to us about ego?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar :Some say drop the ego, some say destroy it. I say, let the ego stay in your pocket. If you say you have dropped the ego, it becomes a very big ego. Let the limited ego dissolve in the Universal ego. Bhagwad Geeta has elaborated on this in great detail. There are three types of ego - tamasic, rajasic and sattvic. From tamsic and rajasic come to the sattvic ego. The sattvic ego automatically dissolves into Brahman in the state of samadhi..

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Karma in this present life

Question: If astrology is telling the life of a human being, is there any chance we could change our karma in this present life? Thank you for being with us.
Guruji: Definitely. Astrology Indicates. It just gives you a road map. That's all. But there is freedom too. Always consider the past as Destiny. If you think the past was free-will you become guilty, you become regretful, you become morose.
You are very upset thinking of the past "Oh, I could have it done this way. I could have done it that way. I could have could have..could have" It is useless. Past should be seen as destiny. Future should be seen as Free-Will. This is wisdom.
Wise people do like that. Otherwise, you get caught in regretting the past, and do nothing for the future. You simply sit. We must reverse this tendency. Just doing this one thing will help you to a great extent. Past whatever happened was destiny. Whatever happened happened - finished. And the future is upto you.