Spirituality is what gives depth to life

Bad Antogast, (Germany), July 23:
Q: Guruji, will there be a positive change in the civilization; no wars and hunger and poor people? Is it possible to create a world of peace, harmony and friendship? Is it possible in our lifetime?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, we should have this vision; we should start working towards it.
All these problems are there in the world to wake us up. If there were no problems, we would sleep, we would be very selfish, we would not do anything about it. These problems are there for us to wake up and do something about it.

Q: My friends expect me to drive them with my car, but then they drink. They look at me differently. I don’t understand why.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s very difficult to understand people’s minds. So, you better give up. They themselves don’t understand their mind, so how can you understand their mind? Do you understand your own mind?
The most unreliable thing in your life is your own mind. One minute, it likes something, another minute it likes something else. So, your mind goes all over the place. So, you cannot rely on your own mind. Once you know this, you will laugh, you will smile. Never mind: why should I control someone else’s mind when my mind itself is not under my control? Isn’t it?
Our mind is a multi-channeled television. You know, there are so many channels: the horror channel, history channel, discovery channel, news channel and then there is a cartoon channel. All is happening!
A poet from Karnataka (a state in South India) wrote a very nice couplet about the mind. He said: The mind is like a forest, with so many animals in it. There are nightingales that sing very sweetly and there are crows, and there are tigers, lions and there are mosquitoes. The same way, your mind is a forest.
It’s amazing, just to watch what our mind says. Nobody’s mind is in their control, we shouldn’t expect everyone to behave like an enlightened person. Unfortunately, that is what we do. We want everyone to be perfect.
The world always considers you, sees you, much better than what you are. And even the people don’t see you the way you are, or the way you are not. Never mind, why do you have to bother about it?

Q: Please can you let us have your thoughts on the ‘ascension of mother earth’ and if the world is likely to be different after December 2012?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Many of you ask this question about 2012. This year there is a 999 (9th September 2009) that is coming up.
The world is already changing and it will change. Change is a constant thing on this planet, everything changes, people change. The year 2012 is good because people will change towards spirituality. After the economic meltdown, people have realized that running after material things is not the ultimate aim of life. We need to eat, but we shouldn’t have eating disorders. Eating itself is not the purpose of life, but we need to eat. That awareness is coming and it’s going to make a big difference.
There will be changes and you will be the pioneers of that change. When you are meditating and teaching people about spirituality, more and more people will appreciate this knowledge and their lives will change. And it’s going to be good, don’t have to worry about it.

Q: What is the most important gift you are blessing me and the world with?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you go to the pharmacist and ask him: ‘Give me the best medicine’, what will he say? ‘I have the best medicine, but for what disease?’ Isn’t it?
Similarly, this knowledge gives you everything that you need. You have a headache, you have the best medicine. You have a leg ache, you have the best medicine. You have an ear ache, a heart ache, the best medicine is available to you.
When you are determined to be useful to people, useful in anyway, you don’t have to ask: just be useful. Do whatever is needed whenever, and you will be useful for that purpose.
I would always say that this knowledge in the Art of Living is like an ocean. If someone wants to just walk by it, take fresh air, they are welcome. Someone wants to swim in the ocean, they are welcome. Some others will take salt out of the ocean, yes. Some others want to dig deep and take oil, you are most welcome. Someone goes for fishing; take a few fishes, fine. Some others go and find all that precious stones, gems, it’s your choice.
All is available here and what you make out of it, how you use it, is entirely up to you.

Q: Dear Guruji, I come here, I listen to you, then I read all your books, tapes, videos and DVDs. I seek the knowledge. I want to be a better person, but when I most need it, I lose temper. I explode in anger. It seems that the knowledge vanishes from me, from my mind, my intellect. What to do?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all, know that you are already the best person. Don’t try to better yourself, you are good. Ok?
Now, the second thing is about losing the temper. It has been an old habit for you. Did you notice that when you lose your temper now, you come out of the anger faster? Earlier, you used to lose your temper and it would take months for you to come out of that anger. Sometimes years, isn’t it?
How many of you feel like that? Now when you lose your temper, you come right back. For someone who just looks at you, they think you have not changed. But in your heart of hearts, ask yourself: Haven’t you changed? You have definitely changed, definitely.
So, more meditation, more advanced courses, all this will definitely help. Regular meditation is important. Change takes time. Let it take. But don’t get disappointed: ‘Oh, I still lose my temper; I’m still not a better person.’ You shouldn’t blame yourself. Then, there is no possibility of faster progress or growth.

Q: Guruji, how do I differentiate between being flexible and manipulative? Is there an intention behind it?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, intention and your selfish desire is what can make you manipulative. But, if you are content, you are free and you have a goal to achieve, then it is adaptation, not manipulation.

Q: I am beginning to realize who I am. Seemingly, I am the same as I always was, but with less tension and more clarity. Does self knowledge come at the specific time in a person’s life, and is there any special significance to this?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, self knowledge comes by its time. Sunlight will not enter the room just because you have opened the windows. Yet when there is sunlight, it won’t come in if the curtains are closed. For sunlight to come into this room, two things are needed.
1) Your effort to keep the curtains opened.
2) It should be the time for sunlight to come.

Q: How to deal with the fact that one didn’t get any support from the family. My mother was against her children. I try to find a way in life for twenty years and it doesn’t seem to be possible.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, your mother and father have been a doorway for you to enter onto this planet. So, you have come through the doorway. Thank the doorway, honor the doorway, but don’t go on putting all the blame on them. Don’t blame them. They had only that much knowledge, that much love. They gave that much. If you have more knowledge, more love, you give it to others. Why say: Why didn’t my mother love me? She had her own problems, she must be blocked with so much worry and tension. She was not as privileged as you are. You know, you are much more privileged, because you got this knowledge. You had a chance to know what true love is. Not everybody has this opportunity. Isn’t it? So, just have compassion for her. Suppose, if she also had same knowledge just like you, and has been so sensitive towards her children, she would have expressed it. If she lacks sensitivity, she couldn’t express love, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have it. So, have compassion for her.
You know, there are four attitudes:
· friendliness for people who are happy,
· compassion for those who are miserable,
· happiness for those who are doing good work
· indifference with those who are doing bad work, bad things in life.
With this attitude our mind is saved. The most important thing is to save your mind at all cost. Remember that. We hear all the slogans, save the environment, save water, food, earth, trees. Nobody talks about saving your mind.
Your mind is being bombarded by so many things around, so many stimuli, so many things from every side. And gets into a mess and keeps reeling.
Just wake up and see what is in life? It is nothing. What do you do? You take a paid job, you earn money all day, come home, spend money on weekends. That’s it. And have fights, love, then fight again, and then you die. Life is finished. And you don’t even get bored, because it is so boring. You don’t even realize it is so boring, because you haven’t seen anything better. If there is anything better and that is all you see, that is what you will do. There is nothing better in life to do, no goal, nothing.
You feel such pity, ‘Oh my God, what a waste of human life.’ This human body has been given to us, we have attained this body to know, to realize something stupendous, something much bigger, something deeper, something vast. If we are not introduced to the vast space within us, if we don’t know about it - what kind of a life is it then? It is a baseless life. There is no support, no base. Isn’t it?
Spirituality is what gives you depth, which gives depth to life, which makes life vast, which gives you direction, which can eliminate all the sorrow and suffering and bring you fulfillment and joy. Isn’t it?
You know, we must realize how fortunate we all are. We are very fortunate. What we have to be concerned about is about people being happy and that they get the knowledge and the depth in their lives.
Aggression is not our nature. We don’t do anything aggressively. We gently keep enlightening people as we walk along our own path. There are so many people who are longing for this knowledge.