You should have desires, but the desires should not have you

Bad Antogast, Germany,

8 August,2010

There have always been many causes for concern.

Countries have been harming the environment and people in various ways. Iraq has been bombed so many times, affecting the health of the people. Also, several countries have used asbestos which is harmful to public health.

Lately, it is the cell phones. It is said the cell phone and the wireless towers emit a lot of radiation, which is much higher than the tolerance level of human beings. Birds have disappeared from cities. Earlier, there used to be sparrows. In Bangalore, every house had a sparrow. Today you won’t find even one.

Of course, many types of birds come to the ashram - away from the city, away from these tall towers. These radiations and our lifestyle lead to many health problems. Lack of exercise and the kind of food stuff available add to it. The usage of pesticides, chemicals is very harmful. Nowadays, hormones are injected into animals, and into food! So, there are several issues.

You don't have control over everything. Some things can be controlled. Some can't. Understand that your body has the strength to fight it out. Nature will support you. You can get over these hurdles. Anyway we have to go one day, there is no other way. It is not wise to keep thinking about it and getting miserable. We have to die one day, whether healthy or sick.

When we fall ill we do whatever needs to be done. But don’t keep thinking about it and talking about it every day. It brings down your spirit. We shouldn’t pity people, ‘Oh! You poor thing! You have this problem, you have that problem.' Come on, the spirit has no disease, no death, no problem. The body always has some problem - sometimes a minor illness, sometimes a major one. All that can be overcome. And it will overcome! Body will fight it out. Yeah?

Q: I want to understand about desires and how we are meant to deal with them. I feel that I shouldn’t be in desires, yet, I want to achieve things or find myself attracted to another person. If we don’t have desires, where do motivations in life come from? Thank you.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Fine, have desires. Who said no? Have desires. But the desires should not have you, you should have desires. It is like the horse is in control of you, and you are not in control of the horse. If you are not, then it’s a difficulty.

There is a story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was on the horse. And the horse was going round in circles, on the same streets! So people asked him, “Mulla, where are you going?” He said, “I don’t know, ask the horse!”

Most of the time in our life, we are in similar situation. Our desires have us and they ruin us. Instead, you should have desires. You should be able to drop them any time you want to, and have them any time you want to! You should be able to get on to the horse when you want to, and get out of the horse when you don’t want! Rather than getting stuck in the horse, or allowing the horse to throw you down. That is more misery.

Q: After some ‘Art of Living’ Courses, I have felt so happy. I thought I would explode. After a while, I realized that it was not only happiness, but also feverishness. Then I got depressed. It was like an emotional roller-coaster. How can I handle feverishness?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You have already become a witness to it. You have observed that you are on a roller-coaster. You observe these emotions are coming and going. Notice, earlier too the emotions were there. But now it is reducing. Before you were not aware, at least now you are aware of it. Just persistence on this path, in this knowledge makes you stronger, hmm!

Q: Dear Guruji, It’s very hard to see my father in negativity. The more we, my brother, sister and I go into spirituality, the harder and worse it becomes for him. He thinks we have not achieved much in life. None of us have married. He craves for grand children, which we understand. He suffers a lot and that makes it hard for me to see. God has given me all that I need and want. How can I help my parents?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
We can do whatever we can do in our capacity. Spend quality time with them, don’t teach them. When you are with them, don’t give them lessons, or tell them what they should be, what they should not do. Don't tell them, "You should be spiritual like me." Don’t give them such sermons. You know, elderly people just need your company. When you are with them, just sing, just play with them, crack jokes and bring them food or have food with them. Talk something which is of interest to them. They are not interested in listening to wisdom from you, or learning any new techniques from you. Don’t behave like a teacher with your elderly parents. Casually, you may give a few words of wisdom. Observe if they are absorbing it. Otherwise, just being with them is good enough.

Q: Dear Guruji, it is easy for me to shut my mouth, but it is difficult for me to shut my thoughts. How can I do it? Please help me.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You don’t need to do anything. Everything is done here for you. Hiren is giving all the courses, he will lead you at different times to different types of meditations and processes, and it’ll happen. That’s why you need to be here. If it’s your first Advanced Meditation Course, you may find it a little difficult but when you continue, you will definitely find it very useful.

Q: Where is the line between accepting things as they are, and action to change them?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There is no line. These are two sides of the same coin.

Q: Dear Guruji, as my Guru, you are the only one for me. I love you so deeply and follow you wherever you go. As a person, I often feel, such a deep distance. I’m afraid sometimes. I don’t understand this. It’s not really a question, but could you say something about it?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You know we go through different types of emotions. We like somebody and later we dislike the same person. We trust somebody, and doubt the same person later. These mixed emotions rise and fall in our minds. Don’t be scared. All these emotions make you strong somewhere, deep inside. Somewhere, you will emerge a very powerful human being. When you become aware that these transient emotions are just a temporary phase, and realize that you are much bigger than this, you become strong and centered. Don’t get stuck in any of these emotions and form a concept in the mind.

Q: Dear Guruji, in the Ashtavakra Gita, it is said that we should only speak when a question is asked. How does this go together with our wish to bring more people into this knowledge?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
No, no, you do it. "Talk only when a question is asked" is for sensitive and evolved people. Different instructions are given for different level, and different sections of society. It’s not the same for everybody.

Q: Dear Guruji, what can I do if I see that someone’s working too much and her body and emotions become sick of that. She is much older than me, and I love and respect her too much. I become very sad if I see that I can’t do anything.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You know, whether people work or not work, they can get sick. There are lazy people on this planet who get sick. In fact, they fall ill more often. Because their minds are idle. So you don’t have to connect these two things. Some people are so health conscious yet they get sick.

So, sickness is not due to one thing. There could be many factors. One of the factors is karma, some impressions of the past.

Second is violation of the laws of nature, and then third is that you catch from the environment. So, there are many factors.

Catch the rest in the coming post…

“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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