Bangalore Ashram, Dec. 9, 2009: One who is inert has no needs and no responsibilities. Also one who is completely enlightened has no needs and responsibilities. In between these two, everyone has some needs and some responsibilities.
How do you fulfill your needs and how do you fulfill your responsibilities is the question.
If you focus on what your responsibility is, your needs will be taken care of.
But when your needs are many and you focus only on your needs and not on responsibility then that is the path to inertness, sadness. When you don’t take responsibility, you remain unhappy, keep grumbling and complaining.
If you take responsibility and your needs are less everything comes to you - enthusiasm, happiness, creativity. A time comes in our lives when we let go of all our needs and responsibilities. But to get to that state we have to go step by step.
Now the question arises: what about if one is hungry? Then, one has to eat. If one is thirsty, one has to drink. These are all physical needs.
Your body belongs to this society/ this world and the world/society will take care of it.
You belong to the Divine and the Divine will take care of you.
In fact the Divine is taking care of you. Make this distinction that you are separate from your body. As soon as you do this you will see that you are separate from your body, you belong to the Divine. Your smile becomes a permanent feature.
Then, Sri Sri invited questions from audience.
Q: How to enhance receptivity?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you are listening but the mind is still somewhere else then there is no receptivity.
When your mind is clogged with too many ambitions, it does not listen properly if the subject is not linked with your ambition. Even if it is related, it goes on a day dreaming trip. It listens to one sentence and it goes on a trip. For e.g. if someone has an ambition to become a Chief Minister and he is told that you have all possibility of becoming a chief minister the mind immediately goes on a day dreaming trip. So simply listen, just listen.
Also if your mind is stuck with so many thoughts then also the perception is low.
Another reason for alertness of the mind to reduce is vata de-arrangement or kapha imbalance.
When the mind is bombarded with sensory stimuli then also it is not receptive. Have you observed after watching a three-hour movie if someone tells you something you say, ‘Tell me later on.’
To enhance receptivity what to do?
Silence, Pranayama, proper food, less ambitions in the mind will all help. If you like a topic/ subjects then you tend to be receptive towards it. Teenagers often face a difficult phase in life when they have to choose a subject - Math, Computer Engineering etc and if someone is good in all of these subjects then it creates even more trouble.
Q: Who surrenders to whom in total surrender?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is you, yourself surrendering to yourself. Then you realize there is no other.
Q: If we have to choose between happiness or enlightenment, what should we choose?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Enlightenment is the biggest happiness. Why to go after small happiness when the biggest is there?
It is not easy to believe in God. God is there: if you experience this then the mind calms down. Then you find only God is there and I don’t exist.
Inn ankhon mein ankh mila ke dekho to sahi, pyar dikhta hai ki nahi,
Ek kadam bada ke dekho to sahi, rasta milta hai ki nahi,
Hath batake dekho to sahi, kaam hota hai ki nahi,
Ek baar muskarake dekho to sahi, duniya apnati hai ke nahin,
Ek baar naam le ke dekho to sahi, jeevan safal hota hai ke nahi.
When these eyes meet yours, will you not catch a glimpse of love?
Take just one step forward, will you not find the entire way?
Extend your hand, will you not find the work is done?
Smile just once; will the world not make you its own?
Take the name even once; will your life not be fulfilled?
Q: How to come out of a judgmental mind?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you know you are judgmental you are already out of it.
Q: How is self-dependence different from dispassion?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How are these two terms related? (laughter). Total self-dependence is not possible. There is mutual dependence. You depend on a tailor for your clothes. A farmer is responsible for growing crops so you depend on him. If you fall ill you are taken to a doctor so you depend on a doctor also. You depend on your teachers for education. There is some extent of dependency in everything. Life is like this. But we also have to take a step ahead. Until we become useful to others, restlessness and sorrow continue to be there.
What is dependency? One day your maid doesn’t turn up and you don’t clean up your house - then that is dependency. Whatever you can do, continue to do.
It is important that your self-dependency doesn’t turn out to be self-pride. “I won’t take anybody’s help ever and be all by myself”.
You are a responsible citizen, you have the responsibility of your family but your responsibility is only what you can do. What you cannot do is not your responsibility. If you are not a doctor then your responsibility is to call a doctor if needed and not to treat.
Whatever we can do and whatever we can do easily, that is our responsibility.
When the mind and intellect are expanded, you take on bigger responsibilities and when you take on more responsibility, more power comes to you. Nature grants you that.
Have you heard the story of ‘Prabhupaad’? At the age of 75, his Guru asked him to spread the name of Lord Krishna. At that age, he went to the US. He stayed on a ship for over a month. He lived in such difficult situations, in very cold surroundings, in somebody’s basement but that conviction was so strong in him that 1,000 people started to do Kirtan/Satsang (devotional singing) and chanting the Lord’s name. When one’s sankalpa/ intention is so strong, age doesn’t matter. Otherwise 25-30 year old youth say, ‘The system is not good, nothing happens.’ Ok, then keep sitting at home. Have that conviction I can rise above any situation and I will rise above any circumstances.
Q: Guruji, I dreamt about you and it felt as if you were really there. Were you really there in my dream?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This could also be a dream. Are you sure this is not a dream? (laughter). Whenever something nice happens, it appears to be a dream.
“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