Friday, November 30, 2012
Q: How to remove depression in the mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Firstly, wake up and realize that life is temporary. We will live for another 15-20 years, and then we all have to die. In these 15-20 years that you live, think about spreading happiness to others, think about behaving well with others. Where is the depression then? When we keep thinking about ‘What will happen to me? What will happen to me?’ day in and day out then depression sets in. This is the sure-shot way of getting into depression: ‘What will happen to me?’
Q: When someone hurts us, we go into depression.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How can others hurt you? Those who hurt others are foolish. Will you blame anyone who is actually foolish or is mentally ill? No. So just think that those who hurt you are either foolish or are (mentally) ill. If you think this way, then you will not feel hurt.
If you think, everyone is wise and they should act wisely, how is it possible? Everyone has their own little mind, own desires, problems and ignorance. Just accept them. No one can hurt us until we permit them to do so.
Q: Gurudev, I feel your love and affection every moment, but sometimes I am just not able to understand the divine knowledge (given by you). What should I do that I can get both your love and knowledge?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whatever you find difficult to understand is not to be understood at all. If it is all going above your head, let it go. Take only what you can understand.
See, everyone’s capacity to gain knowledge is different, but to feel and be in devotion, there is no concept of capacity. Everyone is same and equally capable. There is no special qualification for it. But, when you talk of gaining knowledge, people have a different capacity. Some people can gain more, some less; but it doesn’t make any difference when you have devotion and a feeling of oneness.
Don’t think that God will be happy with you or be fond of you only if you are very knowledgeable. The purpose of knowledge is for your own joy.
To purify your intellect, you need knowledge;
to purify your heart, you need love;
to purify your karma, you need seva;
All three should go together.
Q: Gurudev, when we see outward we feel jealous. In the same way if we see the Guru outwardly also can we get trapped in jealousy?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. When you think, ‘See, Gurudev has given him a garland but did not give me’ or ‘Gurudev talked to him/her but not to me.’ Or ‘He passed me, but did not smile at me. Is he angry with me?’ Thinking in this manner you only project your own mind.
Why should I be angry with you? If you do a mistake, why should I be angry? No way. If someone has done something wrong, he will automatically pay for it himself. So, never think that the Guru is angry with you, or is ignoring you. It is not so.
Outward appearance and behavior are like that. Don’t look at outwardly behavior, look inward and realize that you are as dear to God as anyone else. If this thought is solidified in your mind then there will be no jealousy.
Q: If we have to look at the Guru or the Guru Tattva, then what kind of sight do we need?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: One should feel that everyone belongs to him; and one should have tolerance. In one day I have to listen to 2000 to 3000 questions. Do I listen to them or not? No matter how many questions, I listen to them all. Do I listen to them with joy or not?
So, stability of the mind; sharpness of the intellect; softness of the heart. These three are important in life.
Heart should be soft,
intellect should be sharp &
mind should be pleasant.
Never lose these three.
Even if it seems to be lost, think that it is not gone away but is there and just hidden.
Q: Gurudev, what is the difference between God and the sky? How do we realize that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First have you realized who you are? Who are you? Have you found out? No. You are here aren’t you? Are you sure? Sit down and ponder on ‘Who am I’. When you find out the real answer, you will realize that there is no answer. When you think ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’, you have to keep these concepts aside one by one and you feel only the Akash Tattva.
So, first you realize yourself, then God will follow you.
You might have heard about the couplet by Kabirdasji:
Jab main Hari Hari kehke jaa raha tha, Hari miley nahin kahin; Ab jab main apne aap mein baitha, ab laage Hari peeche Kabir Kabir.
(When I was calling out for Hari (God) I was not able to find Him anywhere; And when I stopped and looked within me, it now appears that He is following me.)
Let the Lord follow you like this.
Q: Sati was also a form of the Devi as was Parvati. What happened that Sati attained Self-realization while Parvati became His consort?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Devi (Mother Divine) does not have just one form, She has many. That is why She is known as Leela. She comes in different forms to teach different things; that is her Leela (play). Just understand this much.
Q: For a devotee, what is more important: the form or to worship the formless?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First tell me whether you have a form or not.
Devotee: I have a form.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have a form? Where is the form? What is the form of your mind?
Devotee: The mind does not have a form.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, your body has a form but your mind does not. Aren't you a combination of both? You are both the body and the mind aren’t you? So you are a combination of the form and the formless. In the same way, the entire creation is the manifested form of the Divine, though He is formless. Consciousness is formless and the manifest creation in nature has form.
That is why in our country even cows are revered and considered holy. Peepal (sacred fig) trees are considered holy. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagawad Gita that among trees I am ‘Ashvath’ (Peepal). In the same way, He has said ‘Bhutanaam Chetanaschaas (I am Chetana (consciousness). He has said, ‘Jeevanam Sarva Bhutesu’ i.e. I am the life-force in living things.
Even the Gopis went from worshiping the form to worshiping the formless. And this happened very naturally for them. They started seeing Him in everything and every place. They were not able to live without Him even for a single moment. This is the pinnacle of devotion, the height of devotion.
Devotion always starts with the form and ends with the formless. The traditional practice itself has been like this - first worship the feet, then worship the idol, then worship the saligram (referring to the practice of worship of Lord Vishnu in the form of a sacred black stone), then worship the yantra (an metal sheet-like instrument with sacred symbols, mantras and diagrams drawn for the purpose of worship).
Without the yantra, the idol does not get any power. A specific yantra is associated with every deity. More superior to the yantra is the mantra. Without the mantra, the yantra does not work. So, without the yantra, the idol has no significance and without the mantra, the yantra has no significance. The mantra also is of no use without the presence of a saint or a seeker. If you just take a mantra from anyone, it will not work. The mantra has to be received as per the holy tradition and rituals for it to work. So everything has its own significance.
Q: I have three questions. If God is present as consciousness in everyone, then why do we search for Him within us as the Self? Why does He create the delusions? Why does He let wrong happen in the world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. You have asked a good question. The answer for this is that He does not like to remain quiet. Only if there is some chaos can He come down as an avatar to solve it. It is a game.
I will ask you a similar question. Why do people play football or cricket? 11 people are standing this side and 11 people are standing the other side and they are knocking the ball. What is the benefit of all this?
Devotee: He is just taking it as an experience or is enjoying it.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, He is getting joy or ananda out of it.
Devotee: But how do people get enjoyment out of doing wrong things in society like killing etc.?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you not watch movies like the thriller movies? Do only good things happen in the movies? Is there no chaos or no villain, nothing wrong happening? Just imagine if Ravana was not there in the Ramayan. Then Ramayana would become just another tale: There was a King named Rama. He got married and had sons, and that was it. The end. Then how will you recognize the hero? In any movie, what do you see?
When there is some hooliganism and villainy the hero jumps from the 14th floor, he makes the car fly, etc. He jumps from the car to the boat. Why do they take so much risk?
Q: What is mahat (a subtle principle or element finer than the ego) and how can we recognize the mahat tattva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First the mind should become subtler. Then intellect should become sharper. As this happens, the ego dissolves. When the ego dissolves, then mahat tattva reveals and manifests itself. To bring the mahat tattva to light, the ego has to disappear, it has to dissolve. Those people whose ego has dissolved are called Mahatma.
Q: How relevant are orthodox superstitions like the evil eye etc? Are they correct or wrong?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The world of thoughts is a subtle world. There is some effect of all these and there is a simple way to remove these effects. All this is based on vibrations.
There are vibrations everywhere. The whole life is a vibration. Every object is a vibration. So, maybe some negative vibration can come towards you. You might feel little discomfort. If someone abuses you, then doesn't your mind get scattered and lose its focus? Doesn’t it happen to you?
A simple solution was found by our ancient people – waving and sprinkling some salt near the body was thought to remove these vibrations. Even in foreign countries when people have some mental disturbances, they go near the beach, the ocean. They feel the salty air invigorates and energizes their consciousness. Just by using salt and water, you can cleanse your subtle aura; nothing more than this is required.
There are many superstitions and false beliefs - like holding the infant upside down in temples; burying the child in sand for a minute or so etc. All this is very wrong and should not be done. Our society has many wrong beliefs and there is absolutely no support for this in the scriptures.
It is mentioned very clearly in the scriptures that what does not appeal to your intellect or is not practical and appears to be a wrong behavior, you should not do that at all.
Sanatan Dharma is against such superstitions. But such superstitions have creeped into all religions. We have to remove the superstitions and adopt only good practices.
Q: Ravana was a learned Brahman and rushed to protect his sister, whereas Rama caused misery to his parents, unfairly defeated Bali, was a football of other people's opinions, and threw his wife out. Why do we consider Rama as good and Ravana as evil?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It appears as if this is the Ramayana of Sri Lanka! (laughter) Every story has two sides. Ramayana from a different angle shows that Ravana was a good person. Lord Rama himself said so. He never said that Ravana was bad. He told Lakshmana that Ravana was a wise scholar and that he should learn the knowledge Ravana has, before he (Lord Rama) went to him.
There is another very beautiful story. When Lord Rama wanted to install the Shivalingam in Rameshwaram to pray to Lord Shiva, he could not do it without his wife and without a Brahman priest. He requested Ravana for help. Ravana himself brought Sita and acted as the priest for the pooja ritual and helped in establishing the Shivalingam. Ravana even blessed Lord Rama with long life when Lord Rama touched his feet after the pooja. Ravana said that he was bound by his duty at that moment as a priest to bless Lord Rama. When one asks for blessings from a priest, he is obligated to grant them.
It is also a tradition that the purohit has to arrange the samagri (ingredients) of the pooja which the yajamana (one for whom the pooja is conducted or organized), and since the consort of Lord Rama was not available for the pooja, he arranged to bring Lord Rama’s wife Sita to him for the pooja. How many of you here have not heard this story?
Sage Agasthya advised Lord Rama that without praying to Lord Shiva he could not win the war. He had to install the idol (Shivalingam) of Lord Shiva at Rameshwaram for this. So Lord Rama made the arrangements for this. Lord Hanuman said that he would bring Shivalingam from Kashi (Varanasi). A purohit was needed before Lord Hanuman returned for themuharat (auspicious time for the pooja). And it was believed that there was no greater devotee and purohit than Ravana at that time.
Have you seen the picture/image of Rameshwaram? In that image, Ravana is present, Vibheeshan (Ravana’s younger brother who moved to Lord Rama’s camp before the war) is also present. The pictures are sold there locally. So, after the prana pratishthan (ritual act of installing the shrine or idol of the deity to be worshipped), when Lord Rama sought the blessing of the purohit, i.e. Ravana, he blessed him with ‘Vijayi Bhava’ (May you be victorious!) After the pooja was over, Lord Hanuman arrived and was upset that though he had brought the Shivalingam from Kashi, the puja was already over. So then Lord Rama, in order to pacify Lord Hanuman, installed the Shivalingam brought by him also. So there are two Shivalingams – One is Rameshwaram and the other is known as Hanumathlingam. This is the story.
So, you should imbibe and take only good virtues from everyone. If you look only for vices then you will find only vices. You will see faults in Lord Rama and even more faults in Lord Krishna. That is why the Jains have kept Lord Krishna’s place in hell. They say that he will not remain there forever. The next time he will be the first Tirthankar. He is such a great Atmagyani (a Self-realized Soul).
Our culture is very unique. One should not be caught in the negativity of cravings and aversions. Overcome them and search for the Truth.
Q: Gurudev, there is a positive effect on the people around us when we meditate. Do our ancestors and coming generations also benefit from meditation? How to comprehend this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes when we meditate, it influences everybody. Encourage those who are living now to meditate. Merely indulging in karma kaand (rituals and worship) will not suffice.
Those who have died and crossed over will be very pleased when you meditate.
Q: How to keep a balance of intelligence and innocence? We tend to lose our innocence.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, no, you cannot lose your innocence, it is in your nature. If it appears that you have lost, come back to it. It doesn't take more than a minute. The moment you are aware of it, you are back. The innocence is always there in the present moment. We are innocent in the present moment.
Q: In Jainism it is said that yagnas should not be performed because fire kills living organisms. I have attended the yagnas (ritual offering and sacrifices to the sacred fire) here and they were very good, beyond words. How do I understand what the scriptures say in Jainism ?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The main essence of Jainism is meditation - dhyaan. The second is ahimsa (non-violence). They both go together – ahimsa and meditation.
Religions blossomed at different times and at different places. According to the time, space and place, knowledge was given. Like, in the desert, there were no trees, nothing to make fire with, and in areas where there was not enough wood, the tradition (of not having yagnas) became congenial to that place at that time.
In Jainism it is said that you have to filter the water with a cloth before drinking it. It is a perfect science. But today what do people do? They tie a cloth around the mouth of the tap (to filter the water). I remember once in Surat I stayed with a Jain family. They had a cloth tied to all the taps in the house. Flies and dust would come on the cloth and when you open the tap, the water would come along with all the dust and dirt. The purpose (of tying the cloth) was different, but we interpreted the scripture in a different way and made the good water more polluted for drinking. So sometimes we stretch ahimsa too much. In the same way, people have stretched yagna too much. They spend too much and burn so many things which are not necessary. There is something in every tradition that is worth appreciating, which is valuable.
In Jainism also there is not just one tradition. In one particular Jain tradition they do some hawan (another term for yagna). Hawan is a part of some Jain tradition also. In Buddhism also.
In Jainism there are some differences like Sthanakvasi (a sect of Jainism that believes the soul to be formless and hence shuns idol worship), Terapanthi (a sect of Jainism), Deravasi or Moortipoojak (a sect of Jainism that practices idol worship) etc.
Some people worship the form, some people do not. So there are many different notions, aren’t there? In some particular Jain traditions, they do not keep any moortis (idols) and in other Jain traditions like Digambar, Shwetambar,Sthanakvasi etc., their tradition and worship rituals are different.
But the main essence is meditation. And yagnas are done for creating a subtle vibration, a subtle energy, which has its own value. In some Jain traditions you cannot even speak without a cover for your mouth. It is not possible. It is not practical. Just imagine if all the people in the world are putting a cover on the mouth.
Some sects in Jainism do not use electricity at all. No mike or light or anything. I would say this is stretching too much what Lord Mahavir has said. We are going beyond the real meaning of what the Tirthankaras (enlightened Self-realized souls) have said.
These are the things which need to be reformed. It is very good that some Jain munis (saints) have already started reforming. They have started moving in cars and planes. In ancient days it was said that you should not use any vehicle because vehicles were driven by animals. It is torturing the animal. That is very true. But today vehicles are not driven by animals, it is driven by petrol. That much Viveka (discretion), we must use in traditions.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
October 28, 2012
The Divine can only be found in deep rest (meditation).
Do you know what the obstacles to deep rest are? It is the cravings and aversions in the mind.
If the mind is filled with cravings and aversions, rest is not possible. And if there is no rest, the goal of Sadhana (spiritual practices) cannot be achieved.
That is why we need to be free from the cravings and aversions in our mind.
So, how do we do that?
'I don’t need anything from anyone', this is what we need to keep in our mind.
When we don’t need anything from anyone, we will not have cravings towards anybody. When there is no craving, there will be no aversion.
Don’t think of anyone as a bad person. There is no bad person in the world. If people do something bad, it is because of their ignorance or lack of awareness, or because their mind has been hurt. So, don’t have negative opinions about anybody.
Q: Gurudev, you just said that we should not consider anyone as bad. If others treat us badly, how do we react to that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If others have a negative opinion about you, it is their problem, not yours. From your side, do not consider anyone as bad.
By doing this, your mind will be clear and pleasant and your intellect will be sharp. Otherwise, the people whom you consider as bad will begin to haunt your mind like a ghost.
When such thoughts get into your mind, you will not be able to do something creative.
Q: If somebody has really done something wrong towards us, what should we do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When someone does something bad to you, think, why would they do it? One reason could be that they are not healthy.
Do you see a fool or a mentally ill person as a culprit? No!
If a mentally ill person says something bad to you, do you take their words seriously? No. You just move on knowing that he is mentally ill.
So, when someone says something bad to you, think of it in the same way. When a disturbed person says something bad, why should you feel disturbed?
Q: In order to be peaceful, we have to learn not to expect from others. But in day-to-day life, at the office or at home, different people are supposed to do different things. If they don’t do it, then problems arise. Everyone has to do his or her job.
Please guide us on this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If someone does not do the job that he or she is supposed to do, then we need to tell them to do it. We need to exercise our authority there.
If there are lazy people who don’t do their work, we cannot sit quiet. We need to make them aware of their duty.
If we have craving or aversion towards them then we cannot bring awareness in them. It will only make us angry.
Q: What is the meaning of Cause and Effect?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Cause and Effect are called ‘Karana’ and ‘Karya’.
Cow is the cause, milk is the effect. If there is milk, it is because of the cow.
The cause for the cow is grass. The cause for the grass is the Earth. The cause for the Earth is the Sun.
Behind every happening, there is a cause.
Paramakarana, the cause of all causes is the Divine. That is why, it is said, ‘Tasmai Namah Paramakarana Karanaya.’
The cause of all causes is Shiva.
Q: Gurudev, we say ‘Achamanyam Samarpayami’. Water is known as ‘Apa’, so why do we call it as ‘Achamanyam’?
What is the significance of offering water?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, water is also known as Achamanyam. This is a practice that has been going on since ages. Before starting and ending anything, Achamanyam is offered.
It is the process where we do Abhimantra (mantra chanting on the water. You take a pot of water, place your hand on top and then chant mantras. The mantras are supposed to be absorbed into the water) and then offer it. It is not just plain drinking water. The water is charged through the mantra vibrations.
Whenever a guest comes home, water is used to wash their feet (padya). Then, water is given into their hands (arghya). After this, they are given water to drink to quench their thirst (achamanyam). These three practices were practiced in olden times.
When someone comes to your house, don’t you ask, ‘What would you like to drink? Would you like some lemonade, milk, tea or coffee?’
Don’t you give them some water to drink?
In the same way, in olden times, they used to have the practice of Padya, Arghya and Achamanyam.
Padya means washing the feet of the guest at the entrance of the house, so that the dirt on the feet does not enter the house. Arghya is to wash their hands. Achamanyam is giving them water to drink, indicating that the discussion can begin.
Q: What is the significance of ‘Panchamrita (mixture of five foods used in Hindu worship) Abhisheka’? Why were only these materials chosen?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These five are like nectar: Milk, Curd, Honey, Jaggery and Ghee. Though jaggery needs to be used, sugar is being used instead of jaggery nowadays.
Five Devatas (Deities) reside in them. Savitru resides in Sugar, Vishwedeva in Honey, Surya in Ghee, Vayu in Curd, andSoma in Milk.
So, when you offer them as Abhisheka, the intention is that – may the qualities of the Devas blossom in our life.
We pray for peace in everybody’s mind.
Let there be joy in everybody’s mind.
Let there be strength, courage and longevity in people’s lives.
Let there be contentment and prosperity in people’s lives.
Let there be radiance in life.
Let the winds and rivers flow in sweetly.
Let our days and nights be sweet.
Let every soil particle bring sweetness to us.
Let us get sweetness from the Akasha, Devatas and Pitrus (departed ancestors).
Let our speech and thoughts be sweet.
Let the society bring us sweetness.
Let the Vanaspati (Lord of the forest) bring us sweetness.
Let the Sun bring sweetness to our lives.
Let our whole life bring sweetness to other people’s lives.
Let us bring sweetness to the collective consciousness.
Q: Please tell us the way to attain never-ending and unshakable devotion.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Assume that you have unshakable devotion.
Sage Narada says in the Bhakti Sutras that devotion is not an object that can be obtained. If you drop all the doubts, devotion is already there.
Q: If we study law, there is a guarantee of becoming a lawyer. If we study engineering, there is a guarantee of becoming an engineer if we put in our efforts. However, there is no guarantee of getting liberation if we keep doing our Sadhana and keep walking this path.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is definitely guaranteed.
Arjuna asks the same question in the Bhagavad Gita. So, Lord Krishna replies, ‘Na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati’, (Chapter 6, Verse 40).
For one who walks the spiritual path, you will only move higher and higher.
Q: Many great saints, though they attained enlightenment, did not give it directly to anybody. They just preached about the steps to attain it. Why does God not give enlightenment directly to everyone? Are samskaras (impressions) necessary for this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Samskaras are necessary. If you are here, it means that somewhere you had the interest and curiosity to come. Without that interest, how could you come here? So, a little bit of samskaras are necessary.
However, only samskaras are not enough. In life, samskaras, opportunities and grace are all needed. Along with these, self-effort is also required.
If you want to come to the satsang but keep lying in your bed, will it help?
So, self-effort, samskaras, opportunities and grace are all needed.
Q: Are there chances of epilepsy attacks even for people who do Sadhana regularly?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It depends on what the person eats, drinks and does the whole day. It is possible if eating, drinking and living habits are not proper.
If there is too much stress in the nervous system then there are chances of such attacks.
If one lives a healthy life, it will not happen.-
Friday, November 16, 2012
October 23, 2012
(Satsang began with devotees from all over the world singing hymns and songs in their national languages. The crowd from various countries around the world and from all parts of India united with one another through music and singing.)
This is the true spirit of Navratri - Uniting the whole world.
Even in the ancient days, each person would specialize in a different Veda, in one particular branch of knowledge, and in Navratri everybody would converge and everyone would bring their part of knowledge, music, dance, culture, and everything together.
You must have seen, day before yesterday, we had the flute music, the string instrument, the tabla, the drums, and singing.
The variety that is present in the Universe is all converged with the knowledge that there is One Spirit; One Universal Consciousness, i.e., The Divine Consciousness (God).
You don't have to be afraid of God because it is like the mother who cares for you, loves you, adores you and uplifts you. All the motherly qualities are present in God.
Usually we say, ‘Be God fearing; God is there to punish you’, no! This is a wrong idea. God will never punish you, but only educate and uplift you.
We must celebrate life.
We just heard the song, ‘La-Ilaha-Illallah’ – There is only one Divinity, and that Divinity is not somewhere up in the heaven, it is in the five elements, i.e., Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.
So, honor the Earth, honor water, and make good use of Fire. Not just the external fire, but the fire inside you as well.
There is a fire inside everybody, a passion, keep that in the right direction. You know, fire can destroy, and fire can create as well, so allow the fire to do something creative. Give a direction to that fire (passion) inside of you.
Water can quench thirst and it can drown you as well.
Remember the Divine Mother; the Divinity is in the five elements, and in the Self. And real celebration is getting back to the Self with peace and ease.
So we must have this confidence – God loves me dearly. No more questions and no more doubt!
Also, don't compare yourself with anybody, this is also important.
‘Oh, that person can sing but I cannot sing’; ‘That person is intelligent but I am not’, no! You have everything inside you. At different times different things will come out, just have patience.
Another thing is that we say that we want blessings and we want Grace, isn’t it?!
Blessings are available in plenty, but if your vessel is small, then what to do?
If you bring this cup (Sri Sri picks up a small cup), and say, ‘Give me two liters of milk in this’, how can two liters of milk fit in this little cup? The cup is small and you are asking for too much.
You need to bring a cup with a capacity of three liters and then I can give you two liter or three liter, whatever you want.
So, you must remember that whatever you get is your capacity, and if you want to get more then wait; expand your capacity.
When our capacity increases more will definitely come to us.
This is the reason why people are unhappy. They take a little cup and say, ‘Give me one liter of milk in this.’
The cup is then overflowing.
So this is what we need to know.
See, in life, irritations do come to you. ‘Oh, that person is no good’; ‘I cannot be with these people, they insult me’, these sort of the little things come in the mind, and then when you sit for meditation, all these things come and bother you. Isn't it?
Raise your hands and tell me honestly, when you sit for meditation, don't you think about these things – ‘Oh, it is better if my husband does this’; ‘Oh my child doesn’t listen’.
Things about the neighbors, friends, known people and unknown people, all these little irritations come and bring anger, frustration and irritation inside of you.
So, how do you handle this irritation?
Suppose you are doing some important work and a fly comes and sits on you, would you be bothered too much about the fly? No, you wouldn’t get bothered about a housefly, you would just shoo it away lightly.
Know that is what all these things are.
These little irritations help to bring the acceptance inside you. Irritation means non-acceptance. Non-acceptance means holding your fist closed tight. Acceptance is like opening your fist.
Irritation is stiffness. Don't you feel stiffness when you get irritated?
Acceptance is openness, and when your hand is open, the sky is the limit; everything is inside you (referring to his open hand). But when you are closed (referring to his closed hand) then there is nothing inside.
So, letting go is important.
Now the question comes, ‘If I let go then how will I take action?’
Somebody is doing injustice and you think, ‘Oh, Gurudev talks on acceptance, and so I will accept it.’ No!
See, the fire is there, you have to give it the right direction.
Being irritated and doing an action is not going to help. First accept and then take the right action.
This needs a lot of courage and patience.
Another concern is being humiliated.
I tell you humiliation is very good. It is humiliation which expands your capacity; it makes your vessel bigger. It is humiliation that makes the I dissolve, makes the ego go away, and you become simply like a child.
Do you know, you can never humiliate a child because it is hollow and empty!
But when we become somebody, when we hold on to some idea about ourselves then we feel that, ‘Oh it is a humiliation.’
Somebody said, ‘Don’t come’, or, ‘Don't do this’, and all these little things bother you. That is why this is called Maya, because those things which are not worthy of paying attention to, the mind is dragged into that.
And when you say, ‘Even this is not mine’, then that is Mahamaya; it is a Divine play. Because then you start fighting with it, and fighting with it makes it even more. It becomes a catch 22 situation. You get stuck in the rut.
So, don’t shy away from humiliation. If humiliation happens take it as Tapas (means Heat. In Hinduism, it is used figuratively, denoting spiritual suffering, mortification or austerity).
‘Okay, this is Tapas. I will bear this. I take it.’
Tapas makes you stronger and more beautiful.
So, it is said, ‘Gyaninampee Chetansi Devi Bhagwati Hi Saa, Baladakrishya Mohay Mahamaya Prayachhati.’
This is what is written in the Durga Saptshati which we sang yesterday.
The power of Maya, the power of ignorance is so strong that even the most wise people and great intellectuals are just taken into her sway.
She can sway everybody, and so it is said, ‘Oh my dear Mother Goddess, you have swayed us into this play of illusions of the mind.’
We give importance to things which are not worthy of importance. We give too much importance to things which are temporary and fleeting which are not going to stay. They all come and they go. That is why it is called Mahamaya.
You know yesterday I said, ‘Ya Devi Sarva-bhutesu Bhranti-rupena Samsthitha Namastasyei Namastasyei Namastasyei Namo Namaha.’
The consciousness is also present as delusion, not only as Shanti (Peace) or Shakti (Strength) . It is also present as hunger, as confusion, as delusion, and all these manifestations.
When you notice this then you smile at the play of the mind.
Then when the little mind plays around, you don't identify with it; you go beyond and that is where you get that permanent peace – Chira Shanti. The mind is absolutely at peace; unshakable.
This is worth having in life, and for that only, all these blessings are needed.
Today we did the Rishi Homa. From ages, many saints in the past have preserved this knowledge.
In the tradition, it is Parashara (a Rigvedic Maharishi and author of many ancient Indian texts) whose specialty was Poojas.
In Guru Pooja we sing, Narayanam Padma Bhavam Vashishtham Shaktim cha tat putra Parasharam Cha.
The fifth saint in the tradition is Parashara. He emphasized on expression of love and devotion through Poojas –Poojadishu Anuraga iti Parasharyah.
Today also, Ayudha Pooja is done. This is done to honor all the instruments that we use.
When you go to the city tomorrow, you will find all the buses will have sandal-paste,Kumkum and flowers on them.
People will decorate their vehicles.
It means that, from a needle or a pin to a pillar; everything is permeated by the Divine, so honoring all the instruments.
Even small things like pins, knives, scissors, screwdrivers, spanners, all these things are honored, and it is said that Divine mother is present in all the instruments, and so we honor them.
You will see that once a year, in factories they clean all the instruments.
Today the people will honor and show gratitude to instruments, vehicles, buses, cars, everything, because the Divinity is present everywhere.
Ayudha Pooja is done on the ninth day of Navratri. Tomorrow is Vijaya Dasami, the day of victory.
So when Maya takes over the mind just become aware that it is the Maya of the mind.
It is the mind which is going around and doing all these things. Just let go of that.
That is the main message for the Navratri.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
October 22, 2012
So, the message from the Divine is that - you are so dear to the Divine. You simply have to recognize that you are so loved.
You cannot imagine how much you are loved by God. There is so much love. Just like how a mother loves her baby, irrespective of what the kid does. The kid may create a mess, but the mother doesn’t mind. She smiles, cleans up the mess and then once again continues to love the child. Similarly, you are most dear to the Divine. This is what we must keep in our minds. I am here just to tell you this, and nothing else! If you understand this, then my work is done!
‘I am so dear to the Divine’, and ‘The Divine is here, right now’, these are the two things to remember.
When the I in us dissolves and remains only as energy, that is when happiness wells up. Otherwise you think, ‘I want to get enlightened’ or ‘I want to experience this.’ And it is that I which makes you miserable.
And when doubt enters the I then that is the worst thing.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, ‘When doubt enters into the heart of an individual, he is totally lost, and he becomes miserable’.
So, make sure that you recognize that you are most dear and the most loved by the Divine. That is it. Seal it! No more doubt about that, or no more self doubt.
No questioning whether I am loved or not. You should not be questioning.
First God tells you, ‘You are very dear to me’, and then the devotee says, ‘Yes, I love you too!’
So, first listen to these words that the Divine is telling you, that he or she loves you very dearly. He will never allow you to sink – this is the first thing.
The second is the faith that, I will never be allowed to sink. I may be in water up to the nose, but not above the nose.
And third thing is that we must keep our mind happy and contented. Come what may, we have to keep a contended mind.
A discontentment or grumbling mind, even if it gets everything on this planet, still it will remain miserable.
Nothing whatsoever in the universe can ever give you contentment. You have to bring it to yourself. And when does that happen? It happens when you let go and understand.
Purity, Clarity, and Contentment, is the formula for happiness.
There is a proverb in the Bible as well that says, ‘Those who have will be given more, those who do not have, whatever little they have, will also be taken away.’
That is very true. In the mind, if there is lack of contentment and you are complaining and grumbling, then you should become aware of it and snap out of that state. You must take responsibility for that, it is very important.
Contentment and happiness! Do everything happily. Walk, talk, sit happily; even if you complain against somebody, do it happily.
I think we do that here in the ashram quite a bit! (Sri Sri laughs)
Do you know, the day before yesterday, the person in the purchase department called me in the middle of the night and said, ‘Gurudev, there are a few little things that we need to buy for tomorrow.’
I said, ‘What?’
And he said, ‘We need 3000 kilos of sugar and 2000 kilos of moong daal to make pudding.’
And I said, ‘What? (Surprised), you said you need a few little things.’
So, the purchase department rushed to the wholesale market, woke up the people from sleep in the middle of the night, and got everything delivered at 2:00am.
They had to wake up several shop owners, take them to their shops, open the godowns, and bring the items. But they were all happy.
The seller was also happy, the buyer was also happy, the cook was happy and those who ate were also happy.
You know, this whole act could have become very stressful.
The person was telling me this at the last minute. Where do we go at the last minute?
There could have been a lot of grumbling and complaining, and they could have come back saying, ‘Oh no, it didn’t happen.’ But that was not the case.
See, where there is Sattva and positivity, challenges are also sweet.
That is why happiness and contentment is very important.
See, if it was a small little thing, then it is okay. You can go and open one shop. But you can’t get 3000 kilos of sugar from one shop.
So in everybody’s life, there are many such things that happen which we sometimes consider impossible. Do you know why? It is because we don’t recognize our self.
Do you know why the elephant got so scared when she came here (Yagyashala)?(Referring to Indrani (Ashram Elephant) who was brought to participate in the Chandi Homam)
She got scared because she saw herself on the screen, and she thought there was another elephant standing. She didn’t realize that it is her own reflection. So we had to put off that screen.
At that time I thought, she has taught us a big lesson today. This is what is happening with people, they don’t recognize themselves. Everybody is only a reflection of you.
When you don’t recognize yourself, or you are so scared of looking at yourself, that is where the knowledge helps to reflect, to recognize this.
Look within yourself, what is there, what is bothering, what is pricking?
If you see that there are some negative tendencies in you, I tell you, don’t worry about them, because you cannot get rid of them. There is somebody to take care of it. This is the message!
In the Durga Saptashati ,it is said, ‘Ya Devi Sarva-bhutesu Bhranti-rupena Samsthitha Namastasyei Namastasyei Namastasyei Namo Namaha.’
Oh Mother, you are present in all beings as peace and as disturbance; as knowledge and as delusion. I adore and bow down to you!
So the Divine is also present as disturbances.
Look at all the beings on the planet, they are so disturbed. The elephant was disturbed for a little while.
What was that? It is the consciousness; the pure energy that is present in the form of delusion, and in the form knowledge, and in the form of ignorance.
That is why, adore everything holistically. Take them all together. Don’t try to choose or separate, take them all completely and then you will be at peace; absolute peace.
This is the whole essence. Then freedom from misery, attainment of peace, exuberating love and joy, devotion and freedom in the mind - these are the things that are brought up.
The whole universe is just one consciousness. Didn’t you all feel today? It is like there are so many bodies, but just one mind.
One body in spite of so many bodies, one being in the entire field.
We are all part of that One - this understanding comes up as a deep experience.
Now don’t ask, ‘When will that come to me Guruji? I want it now.’ Just relax! Do nothing!
Just know that you are dear to the Divine and the Divine is here, right now, in you.
And that is it for today.
Friday, November 9, 2012
October 14, 2012
The nature of mind is to waver, similar to how the nature of water is to flow.
Now how do you reduce this wavering nature of the mind?
It is through practice (abhyaasa) and dispassion (vairagya).
What is dispassion?
Sometimes, when you are disturbed, you say, ‘I don’t want anything. Enough is enough (suffering)!’
This is one kind of dispassion which you experience when you are disturbed. It is called Smashana (cemetery)Vairagya.
The second kind of dispassion is when you say with awareness, ‘I don’t want anything. I have had enough (contentment)! Everything in the world changes; nothing is permanent. I don’t mind if I have or don’t have something.’
This is the second type of dispassion, and is called Gyana (knowledge) Vairagya.
We need to have Gyana Vairagya and not Smashana Vairagya.
The mind always moves towards pleasure. If we have knowledge and dispassion then all the pleasures will come to us.
It is also said that the pleasure that comes out of Abhyaasa (practice) is the highest.
Everyone has to experience at least one of the two types of dispassion. So it is better to say, ‘I have had enough’, out of awareness and contentment. That is the higher kind of dispassion!