Friday, February 28, 2014

True Meaning of Service

November 20, 2013

Bangalore, India

Gurudev, what is the true meaning of seva? Does it mean to support someone, help them or give them some donation? And if our family opposes our doing seva, should we still continue to do seva, or instead serve our family alone and be happy with it?
Sri Sri: Seva means to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return. It means to do without the desire of any reward in return.
You should do whatever you can do, whether it is by contributing your time, or by donating your money, or just by speaking about positive things. You should do seva in whatever way you can. But it does not mean that you do seva by putting your family members in trouble, or making them uncomfortable and going against their wishes. You should balance both intelligently. Do your Seva and also manage your family well.

Some people go do seva even when there is a family member at home who is ill and needs their care and support. This is not right. You should do seva with wisdom.

You might have heard this short story before. Once a lady asked a Christian priest, 'Father, what does service mean?' The priest replied, 'My dear, say you see an old lady trying to cross a busy road all by herself. Then helping her to cross the road safely is service'.
So when someone heard this, they went out on the streets to look for such people who were trying to cross the road. But they did something quite opposite. They would approach elderly people and ask them, ‘Do you wish to cross the street?’ Though they said, 'No', these people forcefully held their hands and took them to the other end of the road (Laughter). When the elderly person moved a little ahead, another person approached her and asked the same thing, ‘Do you wish to cross the street?’ When she again said ‘No’, he said, ‘No no! You have to cross the street. I wish to do some service’.
So the poor old lady was taken from one end of the road to the other and then again back to the same end. This happened some four or five times. She got frightened because of this. So, this is not seva.

Some people pledge themselves to serving the cows and taking care of them. But what they do is light some camphor and perform an Aarti (rotating an oil or camphor lamp around a deity or idol as an act of worship) before the cow! The cow gets so frightened seeing the flame. Is this what is meant by serving the cow? The poor cow gets so frightened. You should instead feed the cow well – that is its service.
Worshipping the cow with rituals is not seva. It is by taking care of the cow with love. But people often mix seva with many superstitious beliefs.

I have often told the Vedic pundits here when they perform the cow worship, not to take a flame near or in front of the cow, as it would get frightened seeing it. All these rituals are not necessary. In fact they are wrong also. But many people take a long time to understand that they are doing wrong. Over time, people make a habit out of such rituals and get entangled in it. We need to rise above all these things.

The other day, I saw that someone had dressed their dog in a jacket (Laughter). It is you who are fond of clothes, not the poor dog! (Laughter) Why trouble the poor animal with such things?
I have heard that nowadays there are beauty parlours and spas for dogs in some countries. Dogs are bathed and given massages there. And people do all this in spite of knowing that dogs are scared of water! (Laughter) The next time the dog is taken to a spa, it gets frightened even before getting inside. What is the need for the dog to go to the spa? Its master may be going to the spa frequently, but what is the point of taking the dog too? Such people are very foolish.

You know, some restaurants also serve a buffet for the dogs, where the dogs are served different dishes. Now what does the poor dog know about one dish from another (Laughter)? It will simply eat whatever is kept before it. The dog does not have the sense of filling up its bowl with a little bit of this dish, and a little bit of that dish. It will eat whatever it is served first, and will have its fill with that.
I tell you, these dogs belonging to rich families and households are so troubled! The stray dogs on the street are more free, and happy-go-lucky than them.

Someone once told me, ‘Gurudev, my dog is suffering from depression’.
I asked them, ‘How do you know that for certain?’
They said, ‘Gurudev, for many years we had no child in the house. After our child was born, this dog became jealous because we started loving the child more. So it became depressed. It started feeling jealousy like how siblings feel. So ever since then, our dog has been depressed’. You know, they even took the dog to an animal psychologist! (Laughter) The psychologist examined the dog and prescribed some medicines for it. But even then, the master and his wife were not convinced. So they took the dog to a powerful psychic, who could find out what was going on in the dog’s mind. And that psychic placed some instrument on the dog’s body, and tried talking to its soul! (Laughter) All this happens in America also, and it has become very widespread today. There is no limit to the amount of foolishness in the world today.

In the same way, someone came to me and told that they have a parrot at home, who started suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after a minor earthquake hit their town (Laughter). They thought that the parrot was suffering from the trauma and distress of the earthquake. I asked the person, ‘How do you know the parrot is suffering from stress?’
He said, ‘Gurudev, it is because ever since the earth quake happened, my parrot hangs upside down in its cage’ (Laughter)
So then I asked him, ‘What are you going to do about it?’
He said, ‘Gurudev, I am going to show him to the animal psychologist’.
My God! They do not even leave a poor parrot alone! Just imagine the plight of these animals. Some people like these might take their parrot or dog to the doctor for treatment, saying that ‘my pet is suffering from a vitamin B-12 deficiency’. Then the doctors would give different kinds of injections to the poor animal. This is all very strange.

Gurudev, what kind of a leader does our country need today: one who is a youth or someone who has experience in politics and administration?
Sri Sri: Does this mean that a youth cannot be intelligent and experienced? Being youthful does not mean by age alone. Many people are young by age, but they appear so tired and distraught. And some people are so youthful despite being 60-70 years of age. They are so enthusiastic and full of life. So, Youthfulness is not simply a quality of one’s age. Of course, we do need a leader who is wise and experienced in matters of governance.

Gurudev, I feel we have come to the limit of tolerating corruption and injustice. Surely God has not created this beautiful world for this. You have gifted the world the Sudarshan Kriya, but to rid it of such negativity, you would have to use your Sudarshan Chakra (referring to Lord Vishnu’s divine discus)
Sri Sri: See, you too have to do something about it, so you should get started. Tell everyone around you to enroll themselves in the voter list if their name does not already appear in it. You should move out on the field and work for the country.
An ocean is formed when every drop comes together. So, every one of you should do something for the country.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A True Act Of Service

January 14, 2014

Vidarbha, Maharashtra

So many people were hesitating to sing freely when the Satsang was going on. Satsang means to be able to sing openly and freely with all your heart. One who is not shy is one who truly attains God. (Laughter)
The secret of life is this:
do what you say and say
only what you do. There are
three things that we must
necessarily imbibe in our life,
and these three things are
what I would emphasize upon:
we must have purity in our
hearts, clarity in our mind,
and spontaneity in our action.

There are two things in life for which you must not hesitate: one is singing, and the other is having food! (Laughter) If you shy away or hesitate from either of these two, you will be at a loss. But you must hesitate from getting angry, from cursing others, or criticizing them. This is what our Indian culture and tradition says.
The secret of life is this: do what you say and say only what you do.
There are three things that we must necessarily imbibe in our life, and these three things are what I would emphasize upon: we must have purity in our hearts, clarity in our mind, and spontaneity in our action. Our thoughts must be clear and sharp. We must not have any hesitation in doing what we have to do; think carefully and intelligently and then act. When our heart and mind are pure, then everything starts happening in our favour. God is within us, not anywhere outside.

(Devotees in the audience offer a turban, flowers and fruits to Gurudev, out of which Gurudev accepts the turban but asks the flowers and fruits to be given back to the devotees)
Do not bring me flowers. If you offer flowers to me, then I will think that you are telling me, ‘Gurudev, you have not blossomed fully’. If you want to convey this message to me, then give me flowers.
Also, do not bring me sweets and fruits, because that would mean you are trying to say, ‘Gurudev, you should become sweeter’. I am already sweet, isn’t it?
I want you all to be happy, and keep smiling. I want love to be kindled in everyone’s hearts. This is what I want for every one of you. Have love for everybody around you, and do not have any hatred or ill-will against anyone. This is what our Indian culture is really all about.
It is all about the unique art of being able to accept and embrace everyone with all our heart. India is the one and only place where this unique art, this unique quality of being able to embrace everyone lovingly took birth. This is the great quality of our culture. Do not let it slip out of your hands. Do we not have to save and secure our cultural heritage? How many of you here agree with me? Raise your hands. (Many in the audience raise their hands)

Today by the Grace of God, the tradition of having Satsang and meditation has reached every corner of the Earth. I had been to a place near the North Pole where there is no sunrise for nearly two months in a year. I went there in November and casually asked a person, ‘When will the sun rise?’ He replied, ‘Gurudev, the next sunrise will be in February’.
But even in such a place, people were singing bhajans and doing kirtan (another word for Satsang).
Similarly, when I went to a place very close to the South Pole called Tierra del Fuego. The people there were singing in Satsangs, doing Sudarshan Kriya and meditating. They met me and said, ‘Dear Gurudev, our lives have been totally transformed. We have experienced such a great change in our lives ever since we started doing the Sudarshan Kriya and meditation. This is such a wonderful thing’.

So we have to keep our hearts pure, and have clarity and sharpness in our mind. This is why we practice Yoga and meditation, so that the quality of our life improves and whatever we wish begins to happen. And it will happen. That power is within us.
God will always give us what we need. There might be a slight delay sometimes, but you will get what you need for sure. This is the kind of faith you must have. Then whenever you take any Sankalpa in your heart, it will surely get fulfilled. But when would that happen? That can happen when there is purity in your heart, and your life is filled with devotion, and when we are ready to act with awareness.
We always keep doing for our own selves, but we must also do something for others around us. That is when good merits come to us in life.

Our thoughts must be
clear and sharp. We must
not have any hesitation in
doing what we have to do;
think carefully and
intelligently and then act.

We have such a glorious heritage in this country. Look at all the saints that have been in Maharashtra. They have such beautiful names. This is a land of saints, and it is from here that a wave of transformation will rise to cover the entire country. That wave will help remove immorality and negativity, and re-establish Dharma in our society once again. It will help bring corruption and malpractices to an end. People will feel love for each other once again and there will be no hatred or negativity. Such a positive environment will be created in our country once again, and it is already happening. So I feel that such a huge wave of transformation is going to rise from Maharashtra.
We need to enhance our paatrata (meaning the capacity to receive Grace or blessings). And that can happen when we engage in Seva (service).
Service to God and towards your country are two sides of the same coin. We need to do something for our country today. How many people here are ready for this? Raise your hands (Many in the audience raise their hands enthusiastically).
Every day we must contribute one hour for the country, meaning that we contribute seven hours in a week for the nation, and for the society. When we serve the society and the nation, our work and needs will start getting fulfilled automatically. So this is very important.

One also needs to relax, meditate and sit in silence for a little while every day. We all need to imbibe this art. Once in a week you all should gather together and sing bhajans. You should meditate in groups, and then you will see how everyone’s energy increases. When our energy increases, all our wishes and desires get fulfilled, and we easily get cured of any diseases or ailments.
Recently, a scientist from the University of Norway published a research paper on this. In the paper, he explained that by practicing Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and meditation, our genes get transformed. This is a very remarkable finding. You can go and check this out on the website for yourself.
The importance given to blessings and meditation since times immemorial in this country has a very scientific basis, and is not based on false beliefs or superstitions. Doing regular Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and meditation brings so much happiness in your life.

I see that depression is spreading like a disease in so many places, due to which there are many suicides also happening. When people come to the path of spirituality and get engaged in service for the nation, then there will be no more depression anywhere. This is what I want – an undying smile on the face of every person in this country, whether they are young or old. It used to be so in the earlier days.
Four things are very necessary in our life – Bhakti (devotion), Shakti (power or strength), Yukti (intelligent action) andMukti (freedom or liberation).
India has been a free land and always will be. When people act intelligently, and have faith in themselves, then the country grows stronger and progresses.
In the ancient days, India was a land free of corruption, injustice, and malpractices. Today we see that India is surrounded by fire (troubles or difficulties) from all sides, whether it is from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka. We are so strong yet we are surrounded from all sides by challenges. It is like how a peacefully sleeping lion is constantly troubled by the little creatures in the forest.
Even a small country like Maldives which has a population of just 3.5 lakhs does not heed to what India says, and continues to insult our country. Just look at where we were once upon a time, and where we have landed up today. At the international level, we will have to reconstruct a positive and strong image of our country once again.

We need to strengthen our country from within. We should not allow our country to become like some poorly cooked mixed vegetable dish!
People are getting caught up in their personal greed and are pulling each other down. This should not happen. We must all dream a vision of a strong and self-reliant India. How many of you believe this? (Many raise hands in the audience)
You all should brainstorm on what we need to do to achieve this. One thing that needs to be done is there should be 100% voting during the elections in our country. Everyone should vote. We do not have any other power except our vote. We should cast it wisely and judiciously.

We need to enhance our paatrata.
And that can happen when we
engage in Seva . Service to God
and towards your country are two 
sides of the same coin. When we
serve the society and the nation,
our work and needs will start
getting fulfilled automatically.

All of you should come together and take up some service project. How many doctors are present here today? I want all the doctors here today to take a sincere pledge – that in the year 2014, you all will conduct at least three free medical camps. The government alone cannot do everything for us. We all have to unite together and work for everyone’s betterment, only then will the change start to happen. Otherwise what we usually do is keep blaming one person or the other for the poor state of affairs in the country. You should think strongly about what it is that you can do for the country.
The Art of Living Foundation centres here will help you all in every way possible to set up the medical camps. Our teachers will assist you and tell you the places where these camps can be set up. All you have to do is be there and spare some of your time; say on one Sunday of the month.

I would also want to make an appeal to all the lawyers present here to take up three free legal cases. Take up three cases for people who are poor and who are waiting for a long time to get justice.
I would urge all the school teachers present here to teach three, or even ten poor children for free. Will you all teach them? Give those children free tuition. Help them bring out their talents and skills.
Seva does not just mean going and distributing free bread among the poor. It also means enabling a person to become self-reliant to stand on his own feet. This is what is important. Educate the people to not get carried away with the petty offers or false temptations made by those who mislead them for their own personal gains – like they will be given food, money, free television sets, etc. Tell them to pay attention to programs that help them become self-reliant and stand on their own feet, rather than those in which they are misled by such petty and false offers.
Tell them that if someone offers them money, they should take the money but not join hands with the wrong people. It is their own hard earned money with which those people are giving back them and cheating them with! (Laughter)

We need to get rid of corruption and criminalization. We are the foremost country of the world in spirituality and we have the power to bring about waves of happiness for the entire world. I strongly believe that if all the youth today unite and walk together for the cause of the country, we can bring about the change that we dream for India in just three to five years.
Today, I am going to give all of you a mantra to chant. Will you all recite it?
Before every meal that you have, just chant ‘Annadaata sukhi bhava’ (May the giver of this food be blessed with peace and happiness).
I want that Vidarbha becomes green once again, just like it used to be 200-300 years back. For this, we all will have to work together. Both prayer and action will have to go hand in hand to achieve this. Change will not happen by just sitting there and praying. Neither will it happen by just working tirelessly. Both need to happen together. When you combine prayer with proper action, then you will see that Vidarbha will rise once again, and there will be a green revolution here.

In no other country of the world, other than India, are cows being slaughtered in such large numbers and their beef being sold for consumption. Today, we are exporting 650 lakh tonnes of beef from India. In fact one even gets subsidy from the government for this. Such a situation has arisen only recently in the last 10-15 years.
The cattle wealth of country is steadily disappearing day by day. We should not allow this to happen. We must safeguard and secure the Indian cow by every means possible.
A modern day country like Brazil is importing Indian cows for milk, because they have found that the quality of the (Indian) cow’s milk is equivalent to that of a mother’s milk. So we have to rescue our cows. Should we not do this?
We have to save the cattle wealth of our country, otherwise a day may come when the word milk will only be seen in a dictionary. How many of you agree to this? We must all take this pledge that - whichever government comes to power, we will force it to save the cattle wealth and put an end to cow slaughter, and to the export of beef. Do you all agree?
From the time of our independence, today our cattle wealth has reduced to just one-fifth of what it was back then. We have to increase our cattle wealth.

Today, our country is going through a crisis. There is so much inflation everywhere, and our industrial growth has fallen very badly, to -2%. First we have to improve and strengthen our economy. We all must rise and work together. Let us all strive to bring about a new spirit of devotion, knowledge and service. Will you all promise me this? How many of you will take this promise?
See, whatever personal troubles and difficulties you have, give them all to me. You be happy and only worry about the country. Leave your little worries aside and work for the country.

I want the youth of our country to take trainings for different skills and get employed. No one should be unemployed. There are so many employment opportunities in our country. They should all actively pursue these opportunities.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Add A New Dimension To Your Life

January 14, 2014

Vidarbha, Maharashtra


How do we know whether we are progressing on the spiritual path or not?
Sri Sri: There are three points you should always bear in mind when you have come on the spiritual path.
The first is: God is mine. You should think that, ‘God is present right here, and is within me’. Have faith in that and simply relax. You should do whatever seva you can do. Just observe, all of us are present here today, yet, do not all the events that have happened until today appear like a dream?
Just try to remember what you did a day back, two days back, one month back, a few months back, or what you did exactly one year back on this same day of Makar Sankranti. Does it not feel that all events have passed you by, like a dream? 
Right now you are sitting here. But this event too will end and you all will go home. Then this too will appear to be a dream. In the same way, each day will pass by and one day, we will be no more. But this Earth will remain, and continue to exist.
When you think in this way, your entire perspective and way of thinking shifts to a very different level altogether, from where you can say with awareness that ‘I am not the body, I am the eternal spirit. I have always been and will continue to be for eternity. I will appear on this planet again and again in the future’. This experience will not come simply by listening. It can come only when you go deep within yourself.

That is why it is said that you need both Vairagya (dispassion) and Abhyasa (regular practice). When there is a shift or change in your perception, the entire creation appears very differently to you.

Gurudev, today, the sentiments of devotees and followers are misused in the name of Yoga and religion. In such a situation, how should people trust and whom should they trust?
Sri Sri: This is not a new thing. Ravana (the demon king of Lanka) abducted Devi Sita by force by cheating her in the disguise of a Sadhu (a wise sage or ascetic) asking for alms. Is it not so? He took advantage of her simplicity and pious nature. Even today we have people who are doing the same thing. There are many good people in the world even today, and there are many true and wise saints present even today. And not just anywhere else; there is a great saint sitting within each one of you. Such miscreants and bad people are there, but are few in number.
In every field you go to, you will find such exceptions (wrong people). Isn’t it so? There are some doctors in Noida (a town in Uttar Pradesh, India) who were caught stealing the kidneys from innocent patients. It was reported that they stole some 150 kidneys from the patients they operated on. And the people did not even know about it. 
When the patients used to come to them, they would tell them, ‘You need to undergo a minor surgical operation for this’, and then they would steal the kidney and donate it to someone else in exchange for a hefty sum of money. You all know this, don’t you? 
This happened some eight or ten years ago, and it was a huge scandal.

So like this, there are such fraudulent and wrong people in every field today. But just because some doctors were found doing this, does it mean that all doctors are like this? No, not at all. We usually generalize the qualities of a few wrong people to the entire community of people. We should never do this. Yes, you must all be very cautious and aware of what is happening.

Gurudev, when will you openly declare that ‘Mam ekam sharanam vraja’? (A verse said by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita which means, 'Take refuge in Me and I shall free you of all sins')
Sri Sri: See, this declaration has already been made some 5000 years back. What is needed is that we must walk on the path illumined by the Bhagavad Gita. Lord Krishna says, 'Sarva-dharma parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja. Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo mokshayishyami ma shuchah'. (18.66)
Everything is made up of One Divinity only. So see that One in everyone and everything around you, and see everything and everyone as (manifestation) of the One Divinity.

Gurudev, I have heard that whenever a Brahmajnani (an enlightened soul who is established in Self-knowledge) appears on Earth, the collective consciousness of the entire humanity gets increased. How can we understand this?
Sri Sri: Yes, it is true and this has been observed in the past, and it can be seen even today.

If children are busy attending six hours of school, and then four more hours of tuition classes, how and when can they get the time to enhance their talents? How can the education system be reformed?
Sri Sri: I suggest you to make them regularly practice a little Pranayama and to meditate daily. They will not feel the need for tuition classes anymore. If you really have to, then one hour of tuitions is more than sufficient for them. To enhance their intelligence and skills, you also need to pay close attention to the kind of food they eat and their behaviour. Do not give children fried foods to eat right in the morning. Make them have lots of vegetables and fruits in their diet. 
Adopt Ayurvedic techniques and give them herbal medicines like the Medhya Rasayana (a nervine tonic for boosting memory and reducing mental stress); give them milk with Ojasvita (a milk powder made with combination of seven powerful and nutritious herbs). So encourage children to take such good food and supplements to enhance their intelligence and skills.

Friday, February 21, 2014

How Do I Love Myself?

January 10, 2014

Bangalore, India


Gurudev, it might sound silly but it is a genuine question from the heart. How does one begin to love oneself more?

Sri Sri: There is an anecdote. Someone was trying to catch a black cat in a dark room which was not there.
First of all, you think there is a cat and then you try to catch it. The first assumption that you don’t love yourself is itself wrong. You ARE Love. When you think I don’t love myself, and make so much effort to love yourself, it results in total failure. I tell you, you cannot make an effort to love, either yourself or anybody. You simply have to relax and realize that you are love. Got it?

Even the person who wants to commit suicide and thinks he doesn’t love himself, loves himself much more. He loves pleasure so much that he is unable to go through a little discomfort. That is why people commit suicide.
By committing suicide you will not get out of discomfort. It is like removing your jacket when you are feeling so cold. You are feeling so cold and you remove your jacket. How does it help? Simply realize that you are love. Don’t try to love yourself, just relax. The best way is pranayama and mediation. Breathing exercise and meditation.

Gurudev, every Master in history has said, 'My way is the best'. Although on the surface it looks like a narrow minded thought, what is the deeper meaning behind it?

Sri Sri: Jesus Christ had said, 'All those who came before me were robbers and thieves'. Do you know why he said that? Because people who were sitting in front of him were thinking either of the past or future. They were glorifying the past, or expecting something in the future. Their minds were not in the present.
'Your mind has been robbed by the past. Come on, now you be here', that is what he meant. This (moment) is where you are. This is the best. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush, isn't it? So if you are thinking about two in the bush and leave the bird in your hand, you will be such a fool. That is why people have always said, this is the path, now, where you are. Come on, wake up.
Jesus said the same thing. Lord Krishna said the same thing, 'Come unto me, I will relieve you of all your sins'.
So this is the only path, path to wisdom, path to truth, path to yourself. You will find this everywhere. That means, BE HERE NOW.
You will find so many parallels; if you see what Lord Krishna says, 'I will redeem you of all your sins, come unto me', almost same words Jesus has also mentioned.

Gurudev, please explain why there are so many paths for spirituality. How can I be sure of which one to choose?
Sri Sri: It is like asking, there are so many people, how do I know whom should I choose as a life partner. Listen to your heart. When your heart says this is right for me, then just walk in that. Not out of greed.

How do I know the right time to be an Art of Living teacher?
Sri Sri: If you are practicing for one year, then you are eligible for it.

Gurudev, I am so happy to know that The Art of Living is sponsoring cows in India. Please can you help the animals and cows which are so cruelly factory farmed in other countries? What can I personally do to help you do this?

Sri Sri: Create awareness in people about animal rights and how to preserve them, and protect them; especially the breeds.
I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, there are two types of milk proteins. A1 protein and A2 protein. The native cows here (in India) have got A2 protein which is same as mother’s milk, and goat’s milk. Whereas the highbred cows which are imported from Denmark and Scandinavian countries, they and all other cows have A1 protein. A1 protein causes cancer and all these other things, even though those cows give more milk. The ones with A2 proteins though they give less milk, the milk is very nutritious, and it has the same quality as mother’s milk.

Here in India, since thousands of years, cows are called mothers; honored and worshipped as mothers. It is amazing how the protein of the cow has also changed. Now, Brazil is importing lots of Indian cows, in big numbers.
A2 protein is good for human consumption. So create awareness in people. Even though these cows give little milk, it is good enough for human consumption. It is nutritious and healthy, it is anti cancerous. Everyone should consume it.

Gurudev, you spoke of one God at Satsang. Does that mean that you see Hindu Gods as more metaphors than Gods and Goddesses? And does this conflict with your lineage?
Sri Sri: No not at all. See, one white ray when it goes through a prism, it splits into seven colors. All these seven colors are part of one rainbow, yet they are all different. They have their own quality, their own identity, their own flavor to it. So it is a rainbow. The Divine loves diversity, that is why he made us all different. You don’t expect him to come in a military uniform at the same time. So God chose to wear as many costumes that he or she would like to.

Someone asked me, 'Why not Santa Claus be a woman?'
I said, 'Impossible, because she wouldn’t like to wear the same garment year after year'. She goes for new fashion. God is not only a 'he', but also a 'she', and she comes with various costumes. But mind you, it is one light, oneParamatmaParamatma (Supreme Being) is only one, Devtas (Gods) are various. This is also true, that is also true. This is also right, that is also right.
You have quantum physics which says that everything is one and, then you have the periodic table in chemistry which says every element is different. Iron is different from Gold, which is different from Silver, which is different from Uranium. This periodic table is also correct, and Quantum physics which says matter does not exist, all this does not exist, it is all just wave function, that is also correct. Got it?
If you can’t understand this philosophy, you have to go into science. Through science you can understand this philosophy.

Why do we cry when deep knowledge is assimilated? It happens to me when I listen to you Gurudev, and your words?
Sri Sri: Yes. In the scriptures it is written, what happens when you see your beloved, when love is kindled in you, the knot in your heart opens up, all the doubts disappear and tears flow from your eyes. These are the signs that happen when the heart opens up, and is deeply touched. It is experience also, isn’t it? When something touches your heart, the doubts disappear. That feeling wells up, gratitude comes up, tears flow; it is normal. It is very common here.

Gurudev, can destiny be changed by changing the name? Or by changing the spelling of the name?
Sri Sri: Some numerologists do say this. But listen, you are beyond the name. With small things like changing the name, or wearing some stone, can our destiny be changed? No. Your sentiment can change your destiny. If your feelings are pure, your heart is filled with love and prayer, there is meditation, and you do seva, that can definitely change your destiny.

Gurudev what is Ananya Sharan Bhaava (single minded devotion)? How does one acquire that?

Sri Sri: Don’t get into the circle of acquiring this. Know that it is already inside you. Don’t do spiritual shopping.
Sometimes people might tell you, 'Come to this place and bring a black purse with you, and you will get all this luck or power', don’t get into such things. People who are greedy fall for such things.

When I went to Delhi last time, two of our teachers told me, 'Gurudev, there is this one Baba (name for a sanyasi in India) who only gives people blessings, and to receive the blessing, people have to take a black purse with them. And after the blessing all their work gets done. Now everyone is going there'.
I told them, 'This is nothing. It will only work for a short time, you don’t worry. You keep on teaching meditation. Just see, those who go there will come back'.
Our own determination can make things happen. Keep on doing meditation, seva and satsang. This is Ananya Sharan Bhaav (Single minded devotion)

If someone comes and tells you that I know someone who has this Siddhi (power), and he can give you this or that, you tell them, 'Is that so? I do Namaskar (act to honor) to him from far away'.
Say, 'DSN: Door Se Namaskar'.
Do Namaskar to everybody. Everyone has some good qualities, some bad qualities. You never know what is where. Why condemn anyone? Why should we evaluate anyone? Just do Namaskar to them, but we do not need to go to them. We have come on one path, we are getting everything here, this is Ananya Sharan Bhaav.
Here we are getting what we wish for, and we will get in the future also, that is the trust.

Gurudev, in Mahabharata, many of the warriors were killed by the Pandavas through wrong means. What was the reason behind this? All the bad that happens, is that also Divine will?
Sri Sri: Yes, Mahabharat is a very beautiful story, and very symbolic also. Don’t think that it happened once in the past, it is happening every day, especially in this country. There are many Shakunis (the devious uncle in the story of the Mahabharat) who are playing tricks on this side and that side. It is amazing how this one epic, for the last 5220 years has influenced the lives of billions of people, not just in India, but also Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and all the way to Australia.
Do you know that the name Australia is Sanskrit! Australia has no meaning in any other language but in Sanskrit.Astralaya means where they kept the weapons. It seems they had very powerful weapon, very similar to nuclear bombs and things like that. That is why the central part of Australia is all deserts. Nothing grows there. This is the place that is called Astralaya. It was mentioned in Mahabharata.
When British came to India, they said this culture is too strong. You cannot rule this country unless you destroy it. So Lord Macaulay, when he went to London, he wrote to Queen Elizabeth, saying, 'I have travelled the length and breadth of India, and I have not see one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage'. Since then, they British started to bring certain laws and rules to oppress the people, and completely take away those values.
Today you will find hundreds of these palm leaf manuscripts in Germany, Tubingen University, in Hamburg University. They all have taken from here. In England there are lot of these manuscripts, which had been taken away from India.

Gurudev, in Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says do everything as it is my work. How can I do my job and other daily activities thinking that it is Divine’s work?
Sri Sri: See, when you want to attach sacredness to anything you do, it is up to you. Any job you do, when you are doing selflessly, not just for your pleasure, but for the benefit of others, it is sacred.
Don’t waste time sitting and creating a feeling. You should not do mood making. Just be natural.

Gurudev, I feel, if I marry, I will be caught up in worldly matters and will sway away from spirituality. A person looking for enlightenment should marry or should not marry?
Sri Sri: You are putting me in a fix now. If I say in one way or the other, you will ask me this question again in a different manner. Whether you marry or remain single is your personal choice. And, you can have both. You can have a married life and you can also pursue spirituality like many here are doing. But if you want to have a very extended family, care for the whole world and dedicate yourself for the service of people, and you want to be single for that, that is also fine. But one thing I can tell you. Whether you are married on single, just be happy. There are people who are married and unhappy and there are people who are single and are unhappy. You don’t fall into their category. This is important.
So you are welcome to chose to be one amongst those who are single and happy, or those who are married and happy.

Gurudev, nowadays everyone gives me free advice. Each one is trying to be my Guru (Teacher). Without asking I am getting the advice. Whose advice I should listen to and whose I should not?

Sri Sri: This is not only nowadays, it is happening successively since many decades. One should listen to everyone and do what one wants to.
There is no cover over the ears, they are open. Why? So that you can hear everything, but see only that which you want to see. That is why eyes have lids over them. Ears don’t have that. Otherwise we could have closed the ears also.
Therefore listen to everyone, but don’t take it too much inside. You have understood that all are giving free advice, and it is okay.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wake Up And Serve The Nation

January 09, 2014

Bangalore, India


Gurudev, Guru Gobind Singh was a warrior. Can a saint also be a warrior?
Sri Sri: Absolutely! Saints used to be warriors. Vishwamitra, Parshuram, etc. There are so many Rishis in Shrimad Bhagvatam who were warriors. Guru Gobindji raised this slogan, 'Sant sipahi bano' (a saint should become warrior).
In fact only a saint should be a warrior. If someone whose heart is clean becomes a warrior, then good will happen for everyone. If an angry, greedy, arrogant person becomes a warrior, then he will just mess up. 
Mahatma Gandhi is also in that category, he was a saint as well as a warrior.

In each one of us there is a saint and a soldier, wake them up, it is time. There is an opportunity in India, in 2014, to be a sant sipahi (saint who is a soldier). Wake up the lion asleep in you. India has fallen, in every way it has fallen. In the world of spirituality also, strange things are being heard. Too much degradation. So, the politics of this country should be cleaned up first. You should stand up for that. Look, if we hire a guard at home, we only give a duty of 8 hours to the guard, isn’t it?
In a day, there are 3 guards. Their duty changes in 8 hours, because they get tired after 8 hours! So, when at home, we change guards every 8 hours, how will it work if we keep the same guard for 10 years!
If you drag a tired person and insist him to guard, is it injustice or not. It is against the labor laws (laughter). A change is required. Time and again, a change is required.

See, we are not of any one party, we belong to everyone. A supreme court’s justice is not for any one party, it is for everyone, isn’t it? The country’s president is for everyone. Similarly, we are for everyone. So we can say, change is needed. And getting the change is in your hands.
Okay, if a change is needed, should we just get any new person?
If you give a broom to someone to clean, they should be told that first the verandah needs to be cleaned, then the house needs to be cleaned from inside. If a broom has been given, and you say, 'Clean the verandah now', and immediately say, 'Clean up inside also now', neither the verandah nor the inside of the house will be clean. 
Also, always see which hand is holding the broom. See that it doesn’t so happen that the person you want to change comes back in another form. Be alert on this. Give strength to the country, work for the strength. I am not talking of any one person, but a change is needed. Tell the person on duty that if they are little tired, take a little rest! If you keep working without any rest, scam upon scam will go on. So we should be aware. Everyone should work for a change.

I was abused as a child. What is the best way to forgive that person?
Sri Sri: You know, people who abuse, either they have been victims or they are ignorant. If they are ignorant, it is not their fault. They have never been educated. You have to have pity for them, compassion for them. And if they are victims themselves, then they inturn become culprits, then also they need compassion. They never got a chance to know about themselves, they never got a chance to control their emotions. They were not taught how to control their tendencies, or how to get out of the bad habits that they had cultivated. This guidance was missing.
When you see from this angle, you will find that inside every culprit there is a victim crying for help. And when you recognize the victim inside the culprit, your anger, hatred, and frustration will simply drop. You don’t have to do anything, it will just disappear.

So this is why I say, see the situation from a broader perspective. And forgive for your own sake, not for their sake. When you forgive, what happens? At least your mind gets free from that past, from that trauma, and you move forward.
And help others, there are so many other people who are getting into that trap. See what you can do to help them. This is what we should do. See the past as destiny, the future as freewill and in the present be dynamic, be active. Do the best you can to the world around you.

Gurudev, what was special about Sanjay that he could see what was going on in the war of Mahabharat? What was that divine vision?
Sri Sri: There were no televisions in those days, the humans had to train their minds in such a way. We don’t know how much time he must have taken, meditating to enable him to see things. But it is possible. We all have this power. If the heart is clean and the mind is silent, then if we sit and focus on something, it’s happenings keep occurring to us. It’s also called intuition, or intuitive awareness.
How many of you have experienced this? (Many hands go up)
It increases with meditation.

Gurudev, is money bad or are we bad? When we have money then greed also comes. What should our relationship with money be?
Sri Sri: Neither money is bad nor are you. Don’t treat anything or anyone as bad – not money and not oneself. If you want to be greedy, be greedy for seva (service). If you treat it as bad, then you will be stuck. Nothing is bad.
Why do you blame? In our country, money is treated as Lakshmi (goddess of wealth), Lakshmi certainly isn’t bad.

Do the Arab people and the Indian people share things in common?
Sri Sri: Of course! We all share the same air, the same sun. We are all on the same planet Earth! You can never stop the air from flowing from India to the Gulf, and sometimes from the Gulf to India. It is not possible!
Mohammad Paigambar, the Prophet Mohammad, himself said that he gets a cool breeze from India. And that has been the story for centuries! There has always been harmony in India.

When people were prosecuted elsewhere, this land kept its harmony throughout. The Jewish people were prosecuted elsewhere, and when they came to India, they were welcomed here. Nobody was prosecuted in this country. The Jews were not prosecuted, the Parsis were not prosecuted, Muslims were never.
Christians were here in the 1st century. One of the apostles of Jesus Christ, Thomas, came to India. He was called 'The doubting Thomas'. He came to India and he was welcomed. So this is a land where harmony in diversity has always been acknowledged. So there are many common things. I have also written a book called 'Islam and Hinduism', you may pick up the common thread, the common things between the two religions. Similarly, I have said something about Christianity and Hinduism, you can pick it up.

Gurudev, why is your photo everywhere? What about the ego?
Sri Sri: I in fact, don’t want my photo to be everywhere. I tell people, but they do the same things, they bring it. 
Dr. Lawrence Carter also made a portrait of me in Atlanta (laughter). A huge big portrait and put it in the hall of fame there, in the university.

I want to tell you one incident. I was once travelling in a plane and there was a politician, a minister travelling in that same plane. When we got down, the politician was trying to come out, but there were about 200 people trying to give him a garland, and he was refusing. He was running around saying, 'No, no, don’t give me a garland. I am a simple man, don’t honor me'. And the whole drama happened for about half an hour. In his refusing the garland, he made it into a big scene.
I said, 'If they brought it with so much love, you should have just taken it and moved on!' The whole thing would’ve finished in 2-3 minutes.
In Ashtavakra Gita it is said, your wanting something or refusing something, both are same.

You know, for almost 10 years we had no pamphlets, and no photo of mine was published anywhere; in magazines, newspapers, nowhere. For 10 years, we didn’t do any printing, it was all by word of mouth – if you benefit, tell your friend. And they tell their friends. So everything was happening by word of mouth. But when it became larger, people said, 'No, we have to do this'. So to give information we started letters. Then printing, and the magazines, all these things started later to keep people informed.
Those days there was no twitter, not even cell phones. The only way was through magazines or newsletters.