Bangalore ashram, Nov. 27:
Q. This is my 10th Advance course. But I am not able to get rid of my fear. I don’t know what to do?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yogasana, do more yogasanas (practice of yoga postures). Yogasanas stretch your nervous system. The endocrine system gets strengthened.
Q. You tell us to accept people as they are. I accept people as they are but I get frustrated and irritated. Please tell some recipe for acceptance without getting irritated.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you feel anger inside, do you notice the sensation? Forget about the other person. It is the sensation which is giving you trouble. When you focus on the sensation, it gets dissolved. Why should you spoil your own nervous system? Why should you spoil your own beautiful body because someone said something. You know, 72 muscles are strained when you frown. Your body becomes a wreck.
Q. I get caught up in my problems. How do I come out of this?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you think your problem is big you are not looking at others’ problems. When you compare your problems with others, your problem starts looking small.
Q. What is the difference between being detached or in denial?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whenever you get so confused analyzing your own feelings, I tell you, just drop it. Many times you go to get counseling and you get even more confused. The counselor tells you, “Oh, in your childhood your mother didn’t take you to the fair so you are feeling that anger.” I would tell you, see your whole past as a dream and move on to the future.
Something pleasant happened. Something unpleasant happened. By picking your memory, you spoil your present moment as well. All the past is nothing but a memory. Some of its impact may continue but the event is not there. Wake up. Shake up.
You see these dogs, puppies and cats - how they shake themselves when they get dirty? They shake and move on. We should save our mind.
Q. Is it right if one’s parents do not appreciate the virtues of a child but compares demerits of the child with the good qualities of other children?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Once in a while it is ok. When the intention is that their child should learn, then it’s ok. But if it happens every time, then it is not ok.
Q. Can grace change destiny?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, only then is it grace.
Q. Guruji, I have anger and arrogance in me. In anger, I lose awareness. Please tell me some remedy.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you are angry at yourself, you get angry with others also.
When you are angry at others you get angry at yourself for getting angry.
This is like a pendulum. We have to stop this.
It’s ok if you get angry. Don’t get angry because you got angry. Sometimes you feel good, sometimes you feel bad. Life is like a jungle. Thorns are also there, flowers are also there, fruits, peacocks, deer, lions, tigers everything is there. Have a holistic approach.
Just be natural, easy and relax. Take things as they come and move forward. Don’t get stuck in a place. The mind plays so many tricks to keep you miserable. Sing, meditate, serve. Be part of service. We have to save our mind.
Q. Why does a simple situation look complicated later on?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: So what? Later, a complicated situation will start looking simplified. Every complication is a test of your skill. When you simplify the situation and get caught in doer-ship, you find it gets complicated again so that your arrogance is checked. When you feel that whatever happens is the will of the Divine, you are free from arrogance.
Q. Craving and ego are troubling me. What to do?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be natural. Take things as they come.
Q. Why do I fight with my wife though I love her?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When someone asked Mullah Naseeruddin why he fought with his wife so much, he replied, “Because I love her so much. I fight with someone and love someone else? That is not done! I do everything with one person.” Fights are also a part of life.
When you focus on each other too much, then fights happen. If you both have a common goal, to serve, to uplift the society, then fights don’t happen and love blossoms and there is plenty of work for every couple.
In the Indian marriage tradition, there is a ceremony called the saptapadi, the seven steps, which the couple has to take together. One of these steps (signifying vows) is that the couple work together for the upliftment of society.
Q. Guruji, I don’t write letters to you for I have full faith you would solve my problems anyway. Many people asked me to write a letter to you. But I still didn’t write letter to you. When I came here for the advance course many people were writing down their botherations in letters. Please tell me, should I write or not?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You move according to your way and let others move in their own way. It is not necessary that all paths should be the same.
Q. How to overcome low self-esteem?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Go and work in villages and slums, you will get your self-esteem back. Go and work for a week, ten days or even on a weekend. Teach some lessons to the children there and see how your self-esteem will come up.
“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
© The Art of Living Foundation for Globalizing Spirituality