Q: Dear Guruji, I notice that during meditation my mind wanders a lot and many irrelevant and absurd thoughts come and go. What do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If thoughts are coming, never mind, you know. When you realize, you again come back, observe the breath and just sit, that’s it. Some irrelevant, absurd thoughts come and go, it’s all part of stress release, hmm? You may get some brilliant thoughts or some very bad thoughts, don’t judge at that time, we don’t need to get excited, just relax. After meditation if you have some brilliant thoughts you may write it down, you may get some poems, some ideas, creativity may come. That’s all fine, ok? So, just relax, hmm? Some people get ideas, some people can see some visions, some colors, some experience: some may smell some fragrance, or feel something – any of the 5 senses, I would say even the sixth sense, can just get activated during meditation, and it’s good. With all the hollow and empty meditation what’s happening is that the nervous system is getting clearer, purer and so it’s reflecting the inner realm, hmm?
Q: Guruji, I usually compare myself with others and it does
not let me enjoy the work or seva I do. I usually feel I am less than others,
what should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I think if you have to compare you should compare with yourself: how you were yesterday, day before, two years back – that’s healthy. Compare with yourself. See you’ve moved. You will always find you are moving when you compare with yourself, okay? Comparing with others, not about your personality, but in the work, is okay. If someone has done better, then you feel inspired to do better than them. It’s okay. You don’t have to keep your eyes shut. You know if you see somebody has done better than you in business you put your target so you do better than them. This is okay to do, that’s what you should do. Comparison should inspire you, not put you down. First of all accept you don’t know who you are, you have no idea who you are. You’re not self- realized, remember this! If you have that feeling, “Oh, I’m so bad, I’m like this, I’m like…” you have no idea who you are. You have infinite potential inside you. You can do ten times better than anybody else, better than what you’re doing right now, hmm? So Comparison should only inspire you, not pull you down. If you think you know about yourself, and you feel you are weak and think you don’t have ability then it pulls you down but when you know there’s infinite potential inside you, you don’t know who you are, then the comparison will only inspire you to do better work.
Q: How much should one sleep? Is it good to sleep again if you wake up at 4 AM? I would gladly do my program at that time of the day but I can’t. How do I make myself do it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, take good sleep. You don’t have to wake up at 4 o’clock and do practice, no. You do it when you’re complete with your sleep. Whenever you have complete sleep and you wake up, then you do it, okay? Don’t strain yourself. Our rule is what? Not to torture yourself or strain yourself, hmm? Your inner connection can only happen when you are relaxed, not if you’re tense.
Q: Dearest Guruji, is it possible for me to become a member of your team in any way? I am translating now for Russian. I speak Russian, Spanish and English. I would gladly work for any project full time. Thank you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you talk to Lars later on. See what you want to do. You can do something. Yes, why not!
Q: Dearest Guruji, may I give u a big hug?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes…but flying ones (laughter from audience)!
Q: Could you explain what liberation is? How do we attain it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Liberation simply means freedom. Then you can say, ‘I want nothing for myself, I’m complete.’ Liberation is when you have accepted the whole creation the way it is, you’ve accepted people the way they are. Liberation is total peace; a peace which is unshakeable. And this sort of peace dawns when there is forgiveness, compassion, naturalness. You know if you assume you’re somebody then you can’t, if you are intelligent or stupid you have no liberation. You are neither intelligent nor stupid, neither rich, nor poor – if you think – ‘Oh, I’m a very poor guy or poor lady,’ no way you can get it! I am nothing! That sense of lightness, easiness, is what liberation is. A simple taste of it everyone has got, you know when? When your exams were over! The day you finished your exams when you were a child you came back home and threw those books on the sofa and just sat, relaxed! How did it feel? G R E A T, huh? That’s all!
Q: May we sit down in meditation after Sudarshan Kriya or is it better to lie down only?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ya, you can sit in meditation, no problem.
Q: What can I do to lose fear of being able to achieve my dreams? I usually lose confidence and clarity and get lots of doubts about my capacity or abilities. How do I do it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no experience of this. Let me think how you can do it…You know when you achieve success, if that is your goal - to achieve your dream - you should be ready to face some obstacles on the path. And you know that every obstacle is only bringing out more skills out of you, it will not deter you from your goal but will only bring in whatever is needed to fulfill your dream. Do you get what I’m saying? The obstacles that come on the path are only to bring in more skills and it won’t deter or de-track you from your goal.
Q: I have resolved to stop overeating many, many times. I failed repeatedly. Mind wins, I suffer. How do I solve this habit step by step?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Take longer time to eat…longer time. You know, usually people who overeat, they eat so fast. They stuff things so fast, but if you keep the food in your mouth, chew it longer, just feel the food in your mouth , you will see you will consume half of what you usually consume, yes?
Q: Dear Guruji, thanks to you to people are feeling better and the world is getting better. How can we make politicians understand that a peaceful world is better? Why is there so much hate, murders, drugs dealers, arms, wars? What can we do? What would you forbid if you were the world’s president?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thank God! I don’t intend to be, I don’t want to be. Why, you don’t like me having a big smile? You know these are the questions that u need to keep with you. You know an answer can be used only once, but the question which appears like a path can be tread on many a time. These questions you keep asking time and again you will get different answers and implement them at those times.
Q: What can I do to make the world a better place? How can I help people? How can there be less or no corruption in the world? How can there be more compassion and less crime, stress free, violence – free society?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These questions should arise in you, and you will find answers from time to time and act on them, yes? Many a times alone you cannot do it, but together you can do it. Many of you joined together can always achieve this.
Q: We know we have to follow our heart but why is it difficult sometimes when our rational side is stronger, and we think it is correct whereas the emotion is weaker and sometimes more crazy. Thank you for sharing time with us.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know in work don’t use your emotions - in work use your intellect. But with your family and friends don’t use your intellect so much, use your emotions. If you mix it up, you are in trouble! You know, with your wife and children if you are relating them with your intellect and doing business with your emotion you had it! You know at home you have to be more with the value of heart. When you do service you do it with your heart, right? But when you’re doing your work you don’t have to be an emotional thing. Just use your rational mind.
Q: Before the course when I was at home my mind would jump from job, gym, party, plan, and here the mind jumps from breakfast to lunch to dinner (laughter from audience). Why can’t my mind slow down?
I think we should have read this a couple of days ago, we could have told the cook to make the food a little less tasty! Never mind, never mind, you have recognized this, at least. The mind is jumping – it’s already coming to a halt. You know those of u doing advance Course (The Silence Course) for the first time, you would have noticed for the first few days, for the first few sittings you can’t even figure out where the tip of the nose is! Or whether the nose is hollow and empty or you don’t even feel any part of the body. Does it happen to you? Your mind doesn’t stop, it keeps racing…but this is normal. Even if you get 20% in the first silence program, it’s a great achievement, I tell you! First Advance Course, because you’ve never been silent except, while you’re sleeping! Some aren’t even silent when they’re sleeping! We never experience this. We never had a chance to have the mind turn inward. It’s like you’re racing the car in the autobahn and you put the break - it takes some time for the car to stop. It doesn’t stop immediately. In the same way, it takes a little while. It may take… not for everybody it may take, mostly it takes a little time. You will see that from yesterday today was better– today was good, no? Today’s meditation was a little better? How many of you felt better today, huh? See, already it’s better, two days into silence, tomorrow it get’s deeper and when it gets really good then it’s time to leave. So, you got it! It’s good to do a couple of advance courses once in 6 months or once in 4 – 5 months. Then the mind gets trained to switch modes, you know? It’s easy to switch modes in silence and get into that creative field within you, or be dynamic.
Q: What are the most sacred, most divine qualities of marriage? Is there a mantra for a happy marriage?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no experience… to give you ideas, but whatever I infer I can share with you. In marriage you should consider the other person as your own part, part - like your arm, like your body. It’s two bodies, one mind, one soul. So, whatever your spouse desires, you make it your own desire, that’s it. Your spouse’s taste, consider it as your own taste. See, you have many, different tastes, right? Sometimes you like this, sometimes you like that. When the conflict arises? When your tastes start moving apart. You should start saying your taste is my taste; your pleasure is my pleasure. I am here for you, rather than, what can you do for me? When we start ‘What can you do for me?’ then both become unhappy, yes? But when you say, ‘What can I do for you? I’m here for you.’ This is the only mantra. Happy marriages are what? ‘I’m here for you, come what may, happy times or unhappy times!’ See in life sometimes there are disappointments, sometimes there is success. In either case, ‘I’m with you.’ This is one thing. The second thing is, if one is upset, the other should not get upset at the same time. Choose a different time to get upset. Know that ‘Oh, my spouse is upset! Okay.’ Give him or her the time to be upset. Don’t question ‘Why are you so upset?’If someone is upset, the other gets angry and expects them not to be upset. This is a big mistake! Someone is upset, leave them that space. You know many of us don’t even know how to receive love! See, someone comes and keeps telling you, ‘Oh, I love you, I love you so much, I love you!!!’ Suddenly you go, ‘Wow, what do I say now!? How do I react?’ You get into a corner; you don’t know how to react. You don’t know what to say, so that person who kept saying, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you!!!’, suddenly finds you are not responding, then starts accusing you, ‘See, look, you’re so cold!’ ‘See you don’t know how to love. You never said you love me!’ and blah, blah, blah…Demand – demand destroys love. Never demand love from your spouse. Take it for granted they love you, but that’s it, finished, you know! So when we start demanding and policing our spouse, we get into a mess, right! So that is important and the rest you can have tomorrow when you are out of silence and we can have a conversation. So, many of you can come out with your own experiences and add more to this. What do you say, good idea?
Q: Guruji, The Art of Living has changed hundreds of thousands of us in Latin America. We have such gratitude for you! We now want the world to feel the way we feel: love, service, happiness, gratitude and celebration. Mucho gracias. Miracalindo! My heart is happy, can I hug you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Flying hugs!
Q: I want to thank you for everything you gave me, but most
of all to the world. We’re blessed that you’re here for us!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thank you.
Q: How can I reach my full potential? I have so many thoughts on business, seva, relationships. How do I know which one to pursue? Is it important to try to find my purpose in life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes, yes! You can do that very comfortably (laughter from audience).
Q: What do you think of the muscular strength training? Is it
possible to extend the breath by lengthening and holding time or by making the
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, long acceleration is always good, you know, but it takes a little time to train yourself. Muscle testing – I’ll tell you something about it tomorrow maybe. Ask me when you’re out of silence. I will show you something – how your muscles can tell you what you need, what you don’t need. They speak the truth. Do you know about it? How many of you know muscle testing here? Okay, okay, ah, you already learnt last time! Hmm, okay! Tomorrow or day after or one of these days I’ll tell you then you can test yourself – what suits you, what your body says. You know, every muscle in your body speaks the truth, amazing discovery! Wait for it tomorrow (Guruji whispers), tomorrow huh (with a twinkle in his eyes)?!
Q: What does one do when knowledge becomes a barrier and turns to arrogance and jealousy? How does one free from this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be like a child, unassuming, knowing the more you know there is so much more to be known. Knowing only leads to awareness that you do not know so much more. That brings humility. Do you see what I’m saying?
Q: If the core of our existence is full of love, innocence, perfection, how can a person be so mean and kill his or her whole family? It is hard for me to understand.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know you should go and talk to the people in the prison who have committed these heinous crimes. You’ll find these people are nice people. Why even talk about them, talk about yourself! You know sometimes you’ve been so nasty. Have you been nasty? Have you been angry? Have you been upset? Afterwards you see – ‘Oh, why did I do this?’ Do you regret? In the same way these people – they did a crime, they did commit something they were totally unaware of, and then they started realizing. That’s why spiritual education is so important, because this education doesn’t allow you to commit such heinous crimes! They never had an opportunity to have access to this knowledge, to meditation, to breathing. That is why they did all that.
Q: When will you come to Russia again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I was just there this year!
Q: Please give me some technique to lessen the ego.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You’re asking about yourself or someone else? For God’s sake don’t do anything with your ego! Just let it be. If you find you have a big ego, don’t try to get it out of yourself. Let it be. You know, trying to meddle with your ego becomes a bigger problem. Then you say, “Look, I erased my ego!” “Nobody could do this!” Understand that? You know it’s so difficult to get rid of the ego. It’s like saying – ‘I’m the most humble person in the world! You can’t find anyone with more humility than me!’ Does it make any sense? So if you find there is any ego, let it be like that happily, huh? Don’t try to meddle or get rid of it. Just smile, yes! You know ego is stiffness. When you’re at home, you relax. When you feel ease, then ego is not there. The antidote for ego is just being natural. Or one day if you want to act crazy or foolish, it might help you a little bit, because your greatest fear is what others will think. Give everyone freedom to think whatever they want to think, right? Then you’ll find you’re so much at ease, at peace with yourself.
© The Art of Living Foundation
Q: Guruji I wish I were you. Is it possible or not?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Of course! You don’t have to wish, you are already! We are all one. I am you and you are me.
See, the mind is like the space. The self is like the space inside and outside the body. The thoughts come and go, emotions come and go, but when you go inside there is only empty space. And our true nature is that. When we identify ourselves too much with thoughts, with feelings and emotions, that is when we feel we are stuck, we are small. But, the ‘Real, Magnanimous You’ are that space inside where you feel totally at peace. Those moments when you are totally in peace or fully in love, you feel an expansion, right? You feel boundless, you feel limitless, and that is our true nature. That is what the beauty is. We are all one in that, there is no two!
I will give you an example. Suppose you keep here many different vessels with different sizes. They have different capacities: one can have two liters, one can have ten liters, and one can have five litres. But the space is the same. The capacity of each vessel may be different. So what! But it is the same space which is inside, outside and which is everywhere. Our ability to do different things, our energy to do different things is immaterial to what we are. And this ability, this energy doesn’t stay the same throughout life. See, when you were a baby your abilities were different, rather nothing. You could not help even yourself. Somebody had to care for you. And what happens when you get very old? Then also your abilities are different. So changing of our abilities, our thought is immaterial to the real you, to who you are. You are simply space, you are love, you are peace and this identification removes all other complexes in life. Otherwise you will always find somebody is more capable than you and somebody is less capable than you. You are better somewhere and you are not in some others. When you compare yourself with others in the world, either who are living or dead or may be being born in the future, there will always be a difference. This is part of the world, part of the Universe, okay?
Q: If joy and peace are truly our nature, why is it so difficult to be happy and satisfied in our daily life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Is it so difficult? You know you should have one policy, ‘We will not do anything which is too difficult!’ Be easy going, a happy go lucky person. Why do you have to struggle? If being unhappy is easy, just go for it. If being miserable is the easiest thing and being happy is so difficult, why do you have to struggle to be happy! Got it? Go for the easiest, and the easiest is to be unhappy? NO! The simplest, the easiest thing is to be relaxed and happy. If you say why it is so difficult, we have to fix this a little bit. And that thing which fixes this is knowledge. Got it? (After a break of a few breaths) And I tell you, it’s easy!
Q: I feel sick, weak and tired. What’s happening?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What you said is exactly what is happening! You have said it! It will pass, it will pass definitely.
You know, if you are tired, either you have not taken enough water or too little sugar. Either too little energy or too much energy, or your system has some bugs or not any stress release. Any one of these can cause that. When you go deep in meditation, what happens? The stresses come out. When they come out, either you feel tired or feel like running away. All this is possible. If you take a few breaths or walk in the fresh snow, it will help. And take plenty of water, fluids, fruits, vegetables. All this would help.
Q: I am very restless or I am very sleepy. How do I get a better balance for meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Again these experiences are so common for a beginner. If you are just beginning to meditate, restlessness comes up or you feel very sleepy. When stresses get released from your system, such a passage may be common. Farry will tell you more on this. When it comes from a scientist mouth, it has more flavors to it. He is doing a lot of research in Oslo University on Kriya. They found how the chromosomes of your body change! He just told me some very exciting news. So when stress release happens, the chemical or structural form in which stress was stored gets released, you get all these experiences. Your endocrine system readjusts itself, because we have violated our body in so many ways so many times. We have not kept the balance; we have not honored our own body, so jerks may happen. How many of you have found some jerks? Emotions may come up and you feel completely confused. All this may happen. It’s not that it should happen. Sometimes it doesn’t happen and you say am I not releasing any stress? That person is getting stress released and I am so quiet. Don’t compare your experience with anybody whatsoever. We all are so different. Everybody’s nervous system is so different. And at different times, different experiences come to different people. So at any time we should never compare our experiences with others and feel sorry or happy about it.
Q: I like fresh air, pure air but sometimes people add to the air artificial smell to make the air more pleasant and destroy the purity of the air. In the same way, I like your voice in meditation, but when I bought a CD for meditation I was surprised to find out that somebody had added music to your voice. Please give us a chance to have your voice in meditation without additional music.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Suggestion taken! We will request our Publications department for some CDs without music, but your comparison was very good!
Q: I didn’t feel anything after ‘Your throat is hollow and empty’ both the times. In that meditation does Guruji say something after that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wait for the next year.
Q: Guruji, it didn’t seem Sudarshan Kriya is indicated for a person with psychotic problems like schizophrenia. What can be done to help them reduce their suffering?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, people with schizophrenia, you think they are suffering, they are enjoying themselves! Ask me how many people I have encountered who have this problem. Sometimes they stop taking their medication because they stop having fun with that. See, there is no charm, no energy, no fun, so they stop medication. We have this experience. Many times parents or spouse came and left them in the Ashram. So we have dealt with them all. I tell you, they are really not suffering! They are in their own world. They are here in the world for you to serve them. And be patient, they increase your patience. They make you well grounded to your own reality. It’s an experience to be with them. Because their mind is between two worlds -this world and another world, their realities fused and confused. They can invoke a lot of compassion from within you. And that is what you can do about it. Yes, they can do some physical yoga, dance, enjoy music and take a good walk. These are things you can engage them in.
Q: What could help me prioritize one thing against another in my life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your broader vision!
Q: Which is the way of being considerate in my society, neighborhood, my Art of Living group and my friends?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why are you asking this question? You think you are not considerate of others? If you are very stressed then you don’t care what other people think or what others are doing. You just do what you want to do. But sensitivity comes with serenity, sensitivity comes with calmness, sensitivity comes with culture. Your background, your culture, how you grow up, and what were the situations around you. You have that ability to be considerate. Do not doubt that. Compassion is in our very nature. Only when you are extremely stressed, compassion appears to have disappeared. It really doesn’t disappear, it stays somewhere deep inside.
Q: I have been having so many different dreams. They are full of fear and anger. I even say I hate you to a person and I say that to a person I love. What is that? My heart is happy, then why is this so?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Past impressions! You know, there are five types of dreams. Do you know about that? How many of you don’t know?
One is your past impressions in the mind come to you as dreams. Second is your desires, ambitions, dreams come to you as dreams. Your unfulfilled desires come to you as dream. Like you wanted to have hot chocolate and you sleep, you have hot chocolate in your dream. Have you had this type of dreams? Third type of dream is premonition. What is going to happen in the future, you get it in your dream. Everyone gets once in a while such dreams, premonitions. Fourth type of dream has nothing to do with you but the place you are in. Suppose you go and sleep in France, you get a dream in which everybody is speaking French, French words and faces that you have never seen before or sometimes the people who were there in that area or the impressions in that space come to you as dream. The fifth type is a mix of all these – a hotchpotch. That is what mostly dreams are. Ninety percent dreams are of this category. You are riding a horse and suddenly the horse is inside a train. There is no logic to it and it all appears to be very perfect and really clear. Suddenly the train transforms into a boat and the boat turns into a train! All these things can happen. This is all possible in dreams. So many possibilities because it’s a mixture of all: your desires, past impressions, what may happen in the future and then the place. That’s why you don’t need to analyze too much. It’s another form of stress release. Wake up!
Q: If everything is as God wants it and if everything is written then why do we need to put effort for anything?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Even that is written. Your asking this question
is written too, got it? But me giving an answer for it is not written!
Come on! Animals are governed by instincts. They have no choice, they are programmed. But the human system is programmed with a possibility of either / or. Human system has the choice also programmed. But animals have no program of choice. Do you get what I am saying? In the program it is fixed that human beings can have the choice. Intellect is present in the human system which can make the choices. That means there is freedom also. Got it?
Q: Guruji, can you tell us some story when you were a child.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I continue to be one even today! I leave the story for others to say.
Knowledge byte: Remember one thing. The centre core of your existence is all positivity. All imperfection is only on the circumference. So deep inside you are pure, you are innocent, you are beautiful, and you must have total conviction in this. That is it. I am totally pure hundred percent, two hundred percent positive. Deep inside you are simply a most adorable, most lovable person. You should have zero doubt about it. And whatever imperfections you may find in yourself or in others are only on the circumference. This conviction is most important in spiritual growth. Otherwise someone blames you, you take the blame and then you burn with it. When you have this conviction, if anybody says anything to you, you will not care and will simply smile at them. You will not be an emotional wreck anytime, because you are so solid and well founded in the self. And that is what the whole spiritual exercise is! Shudhohum, budhohum – You are pure, crystal clear and solid. That conviction makes you rest so peacefully. If you are made by nature, you are perfect. Everything in nature is perfect. There is one school of thought which says find imperfection. Another school of thought is to move from perfection to greater perfection. That is what we understand. Praising each other and praising oneself, uplift the spirit all the time. Give criticism and stand up to criticism. If someone criticizes you, welcome that, knowing too well that whatever is the criticism is part of their perception or your projection. Imperfection is nothing but a projection or perception. From your side you have projected like that to the other person or that person has perceived you like that. Imperfection is nothing but your inability to project the way you are to others or the perception of other person towards you. That’s it. Got it? All these practices you do are to get to this stage – Improving perception, observation and expression. And that is it. It can never be hundred percent. It is relative, this is the thing. There can always be a chance for improvement in perception and expression. But there is no chance for any improvement in the being.
© The Art of Living Foundation
© The Art of Living Foundation
© The Art of Living Foundation
Q: If one faces failure in some task again and again, should I continue to do the same, or should I drop that?
Sri Sri : There is one proverb in India, “Task gets accomplished with the Sattva, and not with the material”. So, in order to get something done, sattogun should rise. And what does one do to increase Sattogun? With right food, right conduct, and relaxing your mind for some time - This is first. Secondly, even if you face failure in spite of that, sattogun doesn’t let your enthusiasm to shatter, and when that driving force is still there, you don’t even think of dropping. Like if gambler wins once, he develops that taste to win. And then he continues to play again and again with the wish to win, and even when some failure is encountered, he doesn't even think of dropping in between. Even during some failure, that strong conviction of achieving some good is there, and this conviction will be there when you have that dedication for the task. Like, with enthusiasm in action and peace in heart, people kept fighting for freedom for two centuries.
The ones who were fighting for freedom, they didn't get any money, they didn’t steal anything, but did they leave the drive?
And third factor, look for the reason of failure. Every failure is a step towards success. One reason can be some weakness in oneself or some weak point in the system, arrangements. Self weakness – like someone is not able to present the work properly. E.g. if you go for interview, and say some words here and there, then interviewer develops a doubt if you would be able to do that or not. So, one doesn't get job because of one’s weakness. To get rid of one’s weakness, enhance your abilities.
Each failure is a step towards success, so analyze what did you learn out of this? Did you flow with the emotions? You didn't consult those who are already into that profession? You didn't trust them, or you didn’t keep faithful people with you. All these reasons could be there. So, to get rid of any weakness, enhance your ability, and go into the depth of knowledge of the field in which you wish to move ahead.
Second is to amend the system or arrangements. Now, this is not in hands of a single person. Like if corruption is to be checked, can you fight alone? Be with the group. Awaken that intelligence in people for that. Get people to move ahead with you. "Sanghe Shakti Kaliyuge"
In kalyuga, the power is in the team. People say that it is the peak of kalyuga, and it is as if truth has taken a backseat. If you feel like that, then work in a team. Take some people along and then see if the task gets accomplished or not. To enhance capability, you would have to do something yourself, go within yourself. Be in the world to get more people along, and be with yourself to gain abilities. Taking along both the fields, you will definitely get success in your tasks. If you have given all your trials, put in your 100 percent and if, even then, you didn't get success, then it is OK. Take some other work in your hands. But don’t run away if you face failure for the first or second time.
Q : What should we do to always be happy?
Sri Sri : First be more and more happy and then if some moments of unpleasantness creep in life- accept them. Don’t get upset because you were upset sometimes in the past, and then you will always be happy.
Q: There is a big threat to Us our lives from some people who have their own concepts for which they are ready to die and kill other people. What should we do and how should we deal with such people?
Sri Sri : Ya, we need to deal with them with patience and will have to educate them. It is not an easy task but perhaps we should do it by inviting them and when one among them joins to spread peace, it would be easy.
Q: When people adopt violence for surviving, how to deal with it?
Sri Sri : It is quiet natural to go towards violence for survival – it is a natural instinct. But, if self confidence and vision is instilled in such a person, then you will find that the person walks with a vision in self
confidence without the fear of survival problem. I have spoken about all these in a book called “Celebrating Silence”. You can read that if you wish to.
Q: Should we follow Bhagat Singh or Mahatma Gandhi?
Sri Sri : Bhagat Singh was also supporter of non - violence. But they were encountered with one such situation, that they had to take such steps. Follow Sri Guru Gobind Singh, be a Saint – Sipahi. Have peace of saint in heart and strength of warrior in action. That is why Sri Krishan told Arjuna to be a Yogi and then fight
Q: What is the crux of Life?
Sri Sri : What is the crux of life? At least, first you start exploring within for that adventure! What should I tell you beforehand? The whole life is in search of some juice, some happiness. Where you feel happiness, solaced, be at peace there, relax there. And you get that joy when you look within. Meditation is such a joy! When the tiredness cracks away, you get that relaxation, that joy you are looking for.
Q: What should one do when one is faced with conflicting choices?
Sri Sri : Every confusion is a sign of growth, every time a pattern is broken. In such case, just relax. In relaxation your intuition works. Rely on it.
© The Art of Living Foundation
Om Namah pranavarthaya.
Shuddha gnanaika moortaye
Q: What is spirituality?
Sri Sri: Spirituality just means knowing that it is one consciousness. One world family - this thought came from India.One side there is slum, the other side is scam. We have to remove slums. For that first we need to remove alcoholism. Nearly 60 percent of a poor man’s income goes in alcohol.
Q: How does Yoga help one in life?
Sri Sri: Yoga increases our qualifications - Yog brings 'yogyata (Talents)'. Whatever we think that starts to happen.People have started recognizing this secret all over the world. Even in china, where they don't believe in God, they have asked us to start spreading the knowledge of yoga.
Krishna says, “Do your duty. I will take care of your sins. You just surrender. If you surrender then it’s my responsibility to take care of your sins. Don't worry. That's what I also say. Just come and participate in meditation, yoga and Satsang, you will not have any worries in life. Just meditate and believe that you have left your sins here.
Human beings have responsibilities and needs. If needs are more and responsibilities are less, that is not a rich life. Meditation and yoga makes our body and mind active, our life rich. We have to have a quality life, a joyful life.
If our life is not joyous, there is no way we can take care of others. That's why we should use Yoga, Ayurveda and Siddha techniques.
I have a dream - everyone should have a proper house to live in.
The second is that caste conflicts should be erased. We should increase the love between human beings. We have forgotten these practices, and it is time to renew these.
Let us meditate now!
(22 minutes of meditation passes away in less than 2 minutes!)
We meditated for 22 minutes. Did you notice the time passing by?
You should learn this, become teachers and take this knowledge to every village.
If you have any worries, you have to leave it here; That’s the rule of Satsang, you cannot take your worries back. You can go only after you drop them here.
How many of you are ready to do some Seva?
There is a village in Maharashtra - Kathewadi where everyone gets together to do Satsang. There are no locks on the houses. It has become an ideal village! Now 188 other villages are inspired to become like that. Villages in Tamil Nadu should also walk towards this. I am sure you can do this. If possible, you visit this place.
Our work is happening in 36,200 villages.
We should adopt more villages in Tamil Nadu.
When you sleep, make one wish and then surrender that wish also.
How many of your wishes are being fulfilled since you started meditating?
If you can win your mind, you can win the whole world! For this, meditation is necessary. Purpose of human life is to know who you are! This is spirituality.
There can be no appreciation for good forces if there are no bad forces. It is presence of villain which makes Hero a Hero. So, life is just a game.
Q: If God is everywhere, why there is evil?
Sri Sri: If there is no evil, how can we recognize good?
Q: How do I listen to everybody?
Sri Sri: With patience!
Q: Is Growth in technology blessing or curse?
Sri Sri: Technology is a blessing. How we use it can make it a curse.
Q: What is difference between God, Guru and me?
Sri Sri: Let's talk of the common thread. The same Divine is in me and in the whole universe. There is no place which is not permeated by the divine. In Sanskrit,
Ishwaro gurur atmeti murti bheda vibhagine,
There is no difference between Guru, Divine and me. What is common in all three is what I am!
Q: What is surrender?
Sri Sri: A child playing a game goes to its mother and plays or cries. That is surrender. The state of mind of the child is surrender. Another way to look at it is if there is something that we can't handle any more, we give up to the higher power. That is surrender.
Q: Why is there so much sorrow in the world?
Sri Sri: Even with so much sorrow we are not able to let go in this world. How we would be able to let go if it was only full of joy. So, surrender in sorrow, do service in joy.
Q: Please talk about karma.
Sri Sri: Some karma we have to experience, and some we can change. E.g. when we cook some sweet, if there is too much sweet, we add some rava, if it is less we can add sweetening agent. But once you have put the rava on the fire, you can't turn it back. In the same way, some karma can be changed, some can’t.
Q: We worry about future and cry about the past. How can we change the pattern?
Sri Sri: Take past as a lesson, and see what you can do in the future. That is why we should take past as destiny and future as free will, that is intelligence.
© The Art of Living Foundation
Q: I feel life is a like puppet show. So, what is the use or objective of doing anything?
Sri Sri: If an alien comes to this planet and watches football or cricket match, you know how will he react? Shocked!
One leather ball and 22 people after it!
It won’t make any sense to the Alien, and he would say just give them all one. Thousands of people watch and get crazy. People are wasting so much time and money, there seems to be no purpose.So a rational mind cannot understand a game. A rational mind always wants a purpose, some tangible result. Today, unfortunately, games have become wars and wars are like games! I am not giving you any answer. The answer for this should sprout in your mind. See what is the purpose of everything? If everything appears meaningless then congratulations to you! You have started on the path. This is the first sign of intelligence, of waking up. Otherwise we can keep doing same things all our life. It is very good question. Just feel lucky that this question has sprouted in you.
Q: How do I get over of what people think about me?
Sri Sri: When mind is outward and is stuck in an outside event or incident, you have to retrieve it back. That's what you have to do. Either something good happens or bad, it stays in mind for some time, produces an impression in your consciousness. But nothing stays for long and it vanishes by time. Sign of waking up is that you don't hold on to it for long. Sadhana, meditation is the greatest tool for that.
Q: What is the relation of Sadhana and our life?
Sri Sri: The whole life is Sadhana. Doing Pooja, little rituals and Kriya are important but one should also celebrate whole life as sadhana.
Q: I always compare myself with others. I often compare my love and respect for you with others. What should I do?
Sri Sri: You don't have to compare yourself with anybody. Your love is unique. Let love remain love, don't give it any name. The love that is defined by a relationship is limited. You start with this but go ahead and dive deep in a love that is beyond relationships. That is the objective, the goal. The love that is beyond relationships, that is true love only.
Q: I first time saw you yesterday, but I didn't feel you are a stranger?
Sri Sri: I have never felt, meeting anyone, as if I am meeting a stranger. The way your feelings are, you perceive the same. Any person you meet is only your reflection.
(The lights went off suddenly... And someone commented 'Guruji, please don't run away')
Guruji replied 'maybe it is a signal to meditate'
In this world there is no other. This is the mantra of knowledge. There is no one who doesn't belong to me. This is the mantra of love. All our bodies are like shells floating in the ocean of consciousness. This is the truth. Shell has no life; its life is in the water. Where is the life of the fish? In the fish or the water! The body of the fish is just exhibiting the life, but the life is in the water. This is called karan shareer, causal body.
Q: Why do we feel jealous? How do one deal with jealousy?
Sri Sri: Because we don't realize that it is all going to end. Meditate and see life from a bigger context. If you still feel jealous, then just observe the sensations and it will pass.
© The Art of Living Foundation
Sri Sri: I don't know It happens like this. The soul communicates with each other.
Sri Sri: Today, it is different. Tell everybody to be friends with animals. Once you are friends, you don’t eat them. Like you don't use your pets as food. Once you cultivate a relationship, you do not eat it. Cultivate the habit of befriending all the species and this is the way of turning the world, vegetarian.
Sri Sri: When desires arise just see whether it is beneficial for you or not. When desires come up and pass through the intellect, then it is good. If it is just an unqualified desire, it could cause problems.
Sri Sri: To get over habits, there are three options If someone gives you a temptation: Suppose you stop this bad habit for 10 days you will get 10 lakhs of rupees. Then you will do it. Something higher than your habit can create greed in you. Or if someone creates fear in you, eg. A doctor says if you drink, you will spoil your liver. Then you can get over your habit. The third way is through love.
Sri Sri: People are bad because there is some stress Once they get onto the path of sadhana, they can come out of it.
Sri Sri: What does wealth mean? Not just money, whatever supports life is wealth. In Scandinavia, people thirst for the sun. When I had gone there in winter, it was dark like it’s here now. When I asked someone, ‘When will the sun rise?’ They said, ‘In January. That is wealth for them.