‘Silence increases our energy level, awareness’
Bali, April 10 (Friday): It was truly Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – a One World Family that gathered at the satsang this evening. The participants of the advanced meditation programme represented countries from across the globe. Their interaction with Sri Sri reflected common queries of people everywhere. Sri Sri’s answers: simple knowledge tools, applicable to every human being.
Q. Could you please explain the significance of Easter?
A.: Easter is the symbol of spring, it welcomes the spring. There is a new resurgence. Everything is a celebration in life.
Take any excuse to celebrate. We don’t have to wait for an occasion. Life itself is a celebration.
Q. Can you please tell us about ego?
A.: Ego? When someone insults you, they will tell you what it is. I don’t have to tell you. You do some good job and somebody ignores you or gives you a derogatory remark: you will automatically know what ego is. And the antidote for ego is being natural. When you are natural, then the small ego cannot survive, then you expand. Or your ego should become so big that you take everybody in it. Then also it will not bother you.
Q. What is time? What is life? Is there any correlation between the two? Also, do parallel dimensions exist?
A.: Yes. Time is the measurement between two events. Space is the distance between two objects. That’s it. Life is between birth and death. The distance between birth and death is called life.
Q. What is karma and how to reduce it?
A.: You know, you should read the book Celebrating Silence. Read the book and gift it to everyone you know.
I was travelling from Canada to the United States of America. A man at the security check came running to me and removed a copy of Celebrating Silence from his bag. ‘You are the author of this book?’ he asked me. I said, ‘I suppose so.’ He then told me that somebody presented the book to him for his birthday. ‘My life has changed after reading the book,’ he said. He hasn’t done the course, doesn’t know anything about the organisation, just reading some pages from the book made a difference. You all have the book Celebrating Silence and Celebrating Love? You should gift it to everyone. It makes a difference. All the knowledge is present there.
I have spoken in detail about karma in the book.
Q. The Sudarshan Kriya is too short. It starts and finishes in no time. Can it be made a bit longer?
A.: When you are happy, time appears to go very fast. Ask those who are here for the 21-day Teacher’s Training Programme. Did you find it short? (People throw their hands in the air.) They also find it too short. That’s because they are really enjoying it.
Meditate after short kriya.
Q. What is divine love?
A.: Love, itself, is divine. When it has no distortions, it is divine. When it is unconditional, it is divine. Conditions, such as, ‘I love you, so you must love me’, come from the small, small mind and small love. Divine love is unconditional. And always evolutionary.
Q. What is the origin of thought? There is a thought behind every discovery and behind every misery as well. Why does a thought occur?
A.: Where did these thoughts come in your head? It came in your head, right? Better find that out yourself. Before it comes, try to catch it. When you look inside, you will find that the thought is coming from an empty space. An empty space. And that empty space is the mother of all inventions, all creativity.
That’s why, time and again, experience silence. You will get creative and innovative thoughts will come to you. Our mind is chattering all the time, 24 hours. That’s why be silent. Silence increases our energy level, our sharpness and awareness level. It has enormous potential. Imagine someone with insomnia – they are tired the whole day and are unable to sleep at night too. They don’t know how to rest. They chatter and chatter.
You continuously talk and listen to the television and radio. We get immersed in sound from morning to night, from the time we get out of bed till we go to bed again. Chatter, chatter! How much wear and tear would’ve happened to our brain! We don’t give it any time to rest. There is so much disharmony around you. You know why you like music? Because music is a harmonious sound and all disharmonious sounds gets submerged in it.
You will start enjoying that quietness. That inner harmony and serenity is much more pleasurable than the best music you can ever listen to.
I am not saying you should never listen to music. It is necessary but don’t overdo it. You should eat, but you shouldn’t overeat. Similarly, you should listen to music, but not get obsessed with it.
Q. Silence is good, but in reality people who talk more, get more.
A.: When you are scared and afraid, you don’t talk when you should be talking.
But when you are confident, you talk where you need to talk and don’t talk when you don’t need to.
Q. How would you know that I’ve make the right decision?
A.: Just wait for the result and you will know.
Q. Art of Living and meditation encourage a calm and slow mind. At work we need a fast and aggressive mind. How do I reconcile this?
A.: If fast and aggressive minds led to progress, then Iraq and Afghanistan should have been the most prosperous countries in the world. Afghanistan has had aggression for more than 30 years, they’ve seen nothing but war. The Human Rights Commissioner came to our German centre. He did the part I course and requested to be allowed to cook his own food. He was not eating anything. What was the matter? He thought everybody at the ashram ate drugged food because everyone was so happy.
He was scared to eat our food. Then, our people spoke to him, I also spoke to him. For the last 20 years, he had never seen happy people. And here he couldn’t believe that people were so happy. He realised that people could be happy after doing the kriya. You don’t need to be on drugs to be on a high. It was so funny.
Q. Are the kriya, meditation and seva enough for a peaceful life or should I read the Bhagwad Gita?
A.: You should read the Bhagwad Gita. It is an important book on yoga. It’s good.
Q. You said that the past is a dream. People have been sexually, financially, spiritually abused. I have had nightmares about it. How do you say it can be dream?
A.: Listen, people have gone through abuse. Practices like the Sudarshan Kriya, pranayama, and yogasanas will help them to erase those impressions and move forward. Along with the kriya, see the whole event as a movie, a dream. This understanding, without giving them the depth of meditation, is incomplete.
This understanding and the practices complement each other. It’s like watching television and listening to it. You have to do both.
Q. How can we find a cure for auto immune diseases?
A.: Have confidence, pray and leave the rest to the divine
Q: My mind is alright but the problem I face is with my heart. My heart keeps troubling. Sometimes I can feel my heart is bleeding.
A: Read knowledge books. Listen to the knowledge talks. That’s why I have given a commentary on three types of knowledge talks. Patanjali Yogasutras – all about yoga and the mind. Bhakti Sutras which explain the different types of love. The Ashtavakra Gita which explain every aspect of life and awareness.
Q.: Could give us some suggestion on career development, especially during the economic crisis?
A.: This is just a passing phase, don’t worry about it.
Q.: What is the soul?
A.: Soul is the one who is asking, the one who is understanding, sleeping, the one who is doing everything. See, there are different aspects: the individual self, small self and the big self. The small self has five aspects - ignorance, existence, ego, craving, aversion. Turn back and see your life: How ignorant you were and how much aversion you had. How are you now? It’s reducing.
Once these things are reduced, you become one with the universe.
Q: When you were a child, did you ever get into a fight?
A.: I am still a child. My childhood will never finish, I will never let it finish.
Q: How did your parents raise you?
A.: Very good.. Always understanding and always cooperative.
© The Art of Living Foundation