India, (Art of Living International Center, Bangalore), Aug. 19, 2009:
Q. Do ratnas (stones) have an effect on us?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, everything in the world affects every other thing but the power of the mind and mantra is the greatest.
Q. In the Hindu religion, there are stories that are difficult to interpret and seem senseless. Your explanation of the Ganpati story yesterday had great depth. Could you speak more on such stories?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : Firstly, people should know about symbols. It is said that there are millions of Gods and Goddesses in India. In other countries it is said that God is One. In the Indian culture, we talk of families of God. A Goddess is depicted as riding a tiger, Gods have children and there are disputes amongst Gods and Goddesses. For an argumentative mind such depictions are difficult to accept.
God is Sat Chit Anand (Truth, Consciousness and Bliss). He has five karmas (actions) – Srishti (Creation), Sthiti (Preservation), Samhara (Destruction), Anugrah (Blessing) and Tirdhana (Veiling).
He is everywhere yet not visible. Just like air is everywhere but we feel it only when the fan is switched on or when wind blows.
Rishis (sages) say that there are many levels of creation. Gold is one but we can make so many different things out of it. Similarly with wheat, you can make bread as well as chapatti.
Just like that, One God displays itself in many names and forms, one Omkar is present in Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Operator) and Mahesh (Destroyer).
When a single ray of sunlight falls on a drop of water, we see all the seven colors of a rainbow!
Before Creation, the Operator was there. Vishnu was present before Brahma. For instance, grass is present in creation and then the goat comes, a mother develops milk before she gives birth otherwise the creation won’t sustain! The Polar bear sleeps for six months and develops hunger only after the grass has sprung up.
Vishnu is depicted as resting in a lying down posture. The Master of the Creation is resting since the task of maintenance is so easy for him. This does not mean that man can afford to sleep all the time. Vishnu’s sleep is different- he is sleeping on a bed of snake, which is symbolic of heightened awareness. When one rests in awareness it is called Yog Nidra (yogic sleep) or Samadhi (Meditation)
In a human body, the navel is the center of gravity. Brahma, the Creator, emerges from a lotus risen from Vishnu’s navel.
It was only when Newton and Einstein rested that they could make new inventions. Newton rested under a tree and he received the knowledge of gravity as an apple fell on his head. When Archimedes was in the bath tub, he got the idea that he was looking for since a long time.
India knew about the Gurutvakarshan shakti (gravitational force) thousands of years before Newton discovered it.
The knowledge that the whole world is round was present in the ancient Khagoal Vigyan (orbital sciences including rotation, revolution).
Our ancestors had this knowledge that’s why they kept the Sun in the middle. In the most ancient temples which are around 2,000 years old, you will find that the Sun God is in the middle looking towards the East and all the other planets are kept around Him.
Nowadays, it is taught that Galileo discovered that the earth is round. That was just a few hundred years ago but our ancestors knew about this from thousands of years.
Today, the scientists say that in creative people the solar plexus inside the navel is bigger than usual. When the navel blossoms, one becomes creative. In ancient India, they represented this as Brahma being born through Vishnu’s navel.
Brahma, the Creator has four faces. This shows that he gains knowledge from all the four directions.
One drop of semen and an egg alone creates the entire human body. From just one anu (atom) different organs of the human body - nails, hair, ears etc are formed and even the texture of skin is different throughout.
So that One has the intention and capability to be varied. Similarly, in one God many God and Goddesses can be formed.
One human DNA has all the living beings in it, which means we can create all the living beings on the planet right from a lizard to an elephant from a single drop of the human saliva.
So this is the power in a one drop of chromosome. This itself is God. The whole creation is filled with God.
The Sanatan Dharma is very close to the modern science. When you listen to great scientists you feel as if you are listening to Vedanta.
Even if one animal is missing from this world, the balance of the creation will be disrupted. So we need all the beings. You cannot see the Devi Shakti (energy) but this devi shakti rides a tiger as its vehicle.
The peacock has the vibrations of Kartikey Swami, who is depicted as having a peacock as His vehicle. Yet that does not mean that to worship Kartikey Swami, we need to get hold of a peacock.
God is present in every atom of the creation, not just the outside world but within our body as well. That is why before worshipping, we start with invoking the energies within our own body.
Devo Bhuvata, Devo Bhuje – Be immersed in God and worship Him.
The weapons in the Gods’ hands have a deeper meaning. It is very easy to simply say that the ancient man was a coward so he placed all the weapons in Gods’ hands. Such an interpretation is the imagination of a fearful man. This is wrong. Do some research, go deep in knowledge, then you will feel amazed at the minds of the people who created the Puranas.
God-Goddesses are within us, are our very own so they showed human flaws of anger, jealousy etc in them as well. So that you don’t feel guilty when such emotions arise in you. The purpose of the Puranas was to bring you closer to God. Thus stories were created for the purpose of joy, entertainment, knowledge and science.
In Hindi the word ‘Purana’ means old whereas in Sanskrit, it means completely new, ultra modern.
(From the Office of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar)
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