Anger should be used as a tool, and you should not be a tool of anger

Continued from the last post...

Q: For a beginner like me, how do I understand what self is?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Everything in the world changes. Our experiences change, our understanding changes, our intellect changes, we think differently at different times, thoughts are changing, and also our emotions keep changing. How do you know that everything is changing? There must be something that is not changing. Without the existence of something that is not changing you cannot even know things are changing. So you infer. E.g. when there is a smoke you say, ‘there must be fire’. You just see the smoke and you infer that there must be fire somewhere. Similarly, you cannot directly experience that which is not changing, then how do you do it? Through inference.

The ancient people said there are three ways of knowing - Pratyaksha, Anumana, Agama. There are three proofs, one is Pratyaksha - you see direct. Second is anumana - you infer, e.g. you see the smoke and you know there must be fire, right! So when you see that everything is changing, and you know that you can experience change only through something that is not changing, through some reference point, then you infer -‘There is something that is not changing in us and that is called ‘SELF’, your soul, your spirit, whatever you call it’!

So we went from body to finer - Body, Breath, Mind, Intellect, Memory and then ego. Finer than all this, is the ‘SELF’. What the ‘SELF’ is? Finding that out is called spirituality… is meditation! And what this ‘SELF’ is made up of? It is…!

Q: Some schools of thought disapprove the existence of the Self or the cosmic consciousness. What do you say about this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You cannot say self does not exist. Anybody who claims self doesn’t exist, how did he know that? Who knows it? Who is saying it? Huh?! If I say I don’t believe in anything, at least I must believe in these words of mine. I can only say, ‘I don’t believe in anything except these words that I am saying’. You know the most foolish statement on the planet could be someone saying, ‘I don’t believe in anything’. At least the person who is saying this should believe in himself! Do you see what am I saying? Are you getting it?

If I say I don’t trust anything then I must also say that I don’t trust the words that I am saying to you right now. This sentence - ‘I don’t trust anything’ is false because you at least trust the sentence you are saying, otherwise why would you even say that sentence? So, nobody can authentically say that he/she doesn’t trust anything. If he says, either he is crazy or he is enlightened! (Bubbles of laughter) The words that we say, ‘everything is changing’ are very relative. All that you see, you touch or you feel comes under the purview of the five senses. That is why we say everything is changing, but there is something that doesn’t change. If, once, we have a foot in that something that doesn’t change, nothing can shake you! That is awakening! What is Awakening? something in me that doesn’t change, I don’t change. Just a glimpse of this spirit or the being within you, and there will be no fear at all in life.

Everything is in abundance, mind becomes calm, stable, creative, intelligent, intuitive, and all these abilities just spring up from within, and that is what happens when you just sit, meditate and let go of everything. Let go.And even if for a few seconds the mind becomes still and it is in touch with that non-changing you; DONE! Then the purpose of life is done!

So every human body-mind complex is like a wave in the ocean, then you realize that this whole universe is all life everywhere. Our bodies are like shells floating in the ocean. Ocean of life is holding so many bodies. So life is not just in the body but body is in the life.

If it is too much and you don’t get it now, just put it somewhere in the back of the mind, someday you will understand, okay! It could be just a concept, that’s why what we do with anything that’s a concept? We put it in the back burner, in the back shelf; we just go with our experience. See, with our experience, we mature more and more and more… yeah! Good!

Q: You told us about experiencing the self, when was your first real experience on experiencing the SELF? We would love to know.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When was my first experience on that? I don’t know! It was there in the childhood, then I grew up and then it became clearer later on. I don’t know but may be when I was seventeen or eighteen.

Q: How do we know that we are working on our life’s purpose and we are not doing somebody else’s job?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay! How do we know we are doing our life’s job? What is that we have come here to do? See whether you are happy and making people happy around you. Are you doing whatever you can do for people around you? Are you sharing your love and gaining knowledge? Whatever knowledge you have, can you share that with people? You have to ask these questions and you know, sometimes we shouldn’t doubt ourselves too much; sometime self doubt arises – ‘Am I doing this right?’ Just be spontaneous. In every action, there is something good and there is something wrong. There is no action that is totally perfect. The field of action has some imperfection, maybe one percent or two percent. So there could be imperfection in every action.

Similarly every word that is spoken could be imperfect. But what could be perfect is our intention, our feeling. Do you see what I am saying? You have no ill intention towards anybody, and that is done. You know, I have never uttered any insulting word from my mouth all these years. At the most the word that has come out of my tongue is ‘stupid’. When I get really angry, I raise my voice and say ‘You stupid!’, but I have never cursed anybody and that is how I am made. I can’t take credit for it because I didn’t make any effort. I didn’t go to any course or school and try to make myself not to curse people, or not to blame anybody. To yell, shout or get upset is not in my nature at all. And all these bad words simply don’t come up.

Q: Should one never get angry?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Don’t think you should all be without anger all the time. You should use anger as a tool when it is necessary. I tried to do it but I was not too successful. Often sometimes I try to show anger but it doesn’t work because very soon I start laughing and everybody else will start laughing along, also people don’t believe me getting angry. But sometimes anger is good. You know, especially in a world when there is corruption, when there is injustice and when there are all sorts of people who do all sorts of wrong things, who take advantage of you in all situations, it is necessary that you raise your eyebrows or sometime show anger, it would be good.  But see that you show anger and it doesn’t affect you or get into your heart and make you upset.

Look, that doesn’t happen in a day and that is where all these practices can be of help. Yeah, I’m not saying be like a vegetable all the time or like a mentally retarded person, smiling or not getting upset at all, you should get angry when things don’t go well, right!  But don’t ever let that anger ferment in your mind and turn into hatred. It could be momentary.

You know what is a healthy anger? When you draw a line on the surface of water, how long does it stay for? Only that much time anger should stay, then it is healthy anger. If your anger stays only for that much time and when you have a control over it then it is healthy and you are okay. You can get angry but anger should not get you. What happens usually, anger comes and gets you, and then we are in trouble. Knowledge and wisdom is the reverse of it. Got it! You can use the knife but the knife doesn’t use you.

“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”

~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

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