Bangalore ashram, (India), Nov. 12, 2009:
The second day of the advanced meditation program in Kannada saw songs of deep meaning being sung in satsang.
One participant had composed a song based on the wisdom from the previous day. The song was a declaration of the beautiful, ‘I don’t know’ and a realization of the foolish mind that thinks that it knows.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, when one accepts that one is a fool then he is actually intelligent. A real fool does not recognize his foolishness.
We are in a universe full of secrets.
We are floating in the ocean of infinite secrets. There are infinite secrets in every atom. Science tries to discover and reveal these secrets but this attempt is like trying to discover the ocean in a small boat. It is that small, and there is so much more left to discover, which is impossible. And when science tries to find one secret, ten more arise. No scientist can say that, ‘I know all the secrets of the universe’. No one can say that. As science discovers more, it finds that there is so much more that is unknown, a secret.
So, love the secret! Honor the secret! This is the Chidambara rahasya. There are infinite secrets in the consciousness. You can’t understand all of them. The sky is endless. Like the sky, even secrets are endless. Our ancestors honored secrecy. A mantra is kept secret when we want to do japa (chant).
What you keep as a secret, grows. We don’t express our love, we don’t say ‘I love you’ everyday. When you are so deeply in love, just one glance is enough. Sometimes by saying it so many times, the love diminishes. If you do not express yourself at all, then also it is of no use.
There is the appropriate way to express your life experiences. It should be like sowing a seed. It is a sown a few inches deep, not just on the surface level nor too deep. Then the relationship lasts for the whole lifetime. No child tells the mother, ‘I love you’, all the time- it is shown through his actions.
A yogi always does things in moderation - neither too much work nor sleep. Neither too much food nor too much fasting is favorable. It is not a favorable solution.
If you don’t eat for days or do such things then it is not only a torture for your body but also a torture for your soul. So have moderation in your food, interactions and speech. Then yoga siddhi (state of perfection) is attained and all sadness fades away. So, to become free from sorrow continue to do your sadhana and meditation.
Meditation happens to us. We don’t have to do it, with an effort. And the solution to be free from any obstacle to meditation is to sit in that space of the beautiful ‘I don’t know’.
In the Chidambaram temple, there is a screen and behind it there is only a wall. It looks as if you are bowing down to a wall but there is a deeper meaning behind it. It signifies the akasha tattva (the space principle). When you move the screen, the space is revealed. When you remove the veil of illusion and desires, you experience the vast infinite inner space. For a few moments your mind becomes free from thoughts. We realize that there is some secret of which we have had a small glimpse, like a flash, and this experience brings a transformation in life.
Q) How do you go beyond karma? When did it start and when will it end?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When did the world begin?
Audience: I don't know!
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When will the world end?
Audience: I don't know!
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This question is also like that. We don’t know when the cycle of karma started. We don’t know the beginning but the seeds of karma can be burnt in the fire of knowledge.
Q) Guruji, why do we have to suffer because of our past impressions? In the present we are innocent.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you plant a coconut tree three years back then you enjoy the fruit later. You put money in the bank and expect it back with interest isn't it? Will you agree if the bank tells you to forget about it because it was so many years ago that you put the money? You want only the fruits which are favorable!
We need to realize, accept our mistake and move on. Then the intensity of the karma reduces.
Asking forgiveness for all mistakes made knowingly and unknowingly is part of our pujas also.
Q) Guruji, there are so many spiritual leaders, do we need to visit all and read their teachings?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Respect and honor everybody. Follow one path. Suppose you meet four gurus and you take four mantras and techniques, which one will you use? It is like trying to reach your destination on four different boats at the same time! You will reach nowhere. If you had a guru before and you have come here now, know that he sent you here. Even saying 'all gurus' is wrong. There is only one guru principle. And all the Masters want only your happiness. When you want to dig a well, if you dig two feet deep in ten places, you will not find water. You need to go deep in just one place. There is no need to go everywhere, it’s not necessary. When you have faith in one path and move ahead then for sure you will reach your destination.
Q) How do I free myself from weaknesses? Does performing puja help?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Satsang, meditation and pranayama is the best gift to you. Chanting mantras, doing pujas has its place. Don’t worry too much about it. Meditate and do a little puja. Don’t leave it out completely nor overdo it.
Q) How do I see God?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Have you seen the breeze? Yet you know it is there. You can feel it. Similarly you can’t see God but the heart feels the presence, the prana (life-force).
Q) Guruji, you have said to love the secret, but I feel curious to know it also!
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Curiosity is natural. It sharpens the intellect. Loving the secret refines the feeling level. Life is a balance of the intellect and the feelings.
Q) Technology and science have advanced so much, when will spirituality grow?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s already happening. So many of you are here. In our country science and spirituality are not in conflict. They complement each other. Both are necessary. Bhava (heart level) and buddhi (head level) are both required. When you watch TV, seeing and listening is important.
Q) Guruji, when I heard that the world is going to come to an end in 2012, it was a blessing in disguise for me because I was able to stop my racing and really look at myself and do the things I really wanted to. I could bring some rest for my mind.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Pralaya (dissolution) can happen anytime. Thousands of black holes can swallow the solar systems, the sun is carefully moving through them. Whether dissolution happens or not, you still keep your calm and work to uphold justice and the truth without being caught up in craving and aversion. Do what you can.
© The Art of Living Foundation for Globalizing Spirituality