The inner climate can only bring the attitudinal change to work towards the external climate

Extracts of Sri Sri's address at Climate Change Summit, IIT Chennai

“There are two types of climate change; one is the outer climate change and the other inner climate change. Inner climate change is for a person to be calm and cool even during times of stress and tension. When he is tense there is too much heat in his head, decisions go wrong and his actions could adversely impact his community and society”.

Climate has no borders. A Storm always begins in one state and attacks another state. The air doesn't see boundaries and similarly the ill effects of Climate Change also are not restricted to boundaries. The major cause for the failure of all global climate summits is the hot headed politicians. The inner climate can only bring the attitudinal change to work towards the external climate”

To read more about the initiative <Clich here>

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Being able to connect with the unchanging aspect in us makes life fun

February 18, 2011, New Delhi
As Guruji addresses various kind of audience daily, sometimes a specific class of society, so the team has put forth this effort to present wisdom in a manner which benefits the majority. Please let us know your feedback in the comment box! 

Degree of truth and lie!
Q: How does one deal with people telling lie? Can’t one actually progress being truthful?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
We can make progress being ethical. One thing is you have to make them really understand that you can rise very high like satyam and fall down like astayam (laughter)! So many such cases! One who is truly honest lives like a King, one who walks on wrong path, his own consciousness doesn’t allow him to smile from heart. Such people can’t even sleep properly.

Okay! Does that mean living like Satya Harishchandra? 100 percent truth is also not workable. So, it is so beautifully said in our Shastras! A Brahmin or Sanyasi is not allowed to speak lie, not at all. A teacher cannot! But a king, an administrative can do a little if it is in favor of public in general! Then there is a little more possibility for businessmen.  Bahut khush nahin ho jaana (laughter)! (It loses essence while translating but still “That doesn't mean you should take it for granted!”) Like there is salt in food only that much lie is allowed in business. Like in one – two cases, suppose you have to sell your product, you can say it is the best, even when you know it is not! You won’t accrue any sin that way. So as there is salt in the food! If more... will it still be eatable?

Philosophy of death:
Q: How to prepare for death?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There is no need to prepare for death. You die for the past, when you let the past die then you are living for the present. Art of living, Art of dying are two sides of the same coin. You should die for all the past things that have happened. Live in the present! If you have to live in the present you have to discard all the past(clapping). Every second, discard the past. If you know the art of dying every second of life then life blossoms in its highest state. Mind dying each moment is death. Anyway there is no end to soul. What you think of as death is only separation of body and mind. Our body changes, mind changes, intellect changes, everything changes. That which doesn’t change, the very core inside us – the indestructible, if you can connect to that, that unchanging aspect in you, then that makes life fun! (Applaud!)

Handling corrupt boss
Q: What if Boss is so corrupt and he wants you to be part of it, how to handle such a boss? It is difficult to survive in such a case.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I know I know (laughter, clapping)! I can understand your difficulty. You need a lot of skill for that. You have to somehow tell the boss, “Boss I am not good at it, if I do some mistake you will be in trouble. Better to give it to the other person (clapping). I’m not skilled at this”. You can tell this or you can suggest your idea and say, “This is better boss, maybe. You know better, you are the best judge”. If you throw this last sentence he may think of taking your suggestion. But if you tell him you are wrong and what I’m saying is right then this would be the wrong way to communicate. Not only with your boss even with your parents, sometimes even with your spouse.
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Dig deep into the nature of Love

Keep your heart in a safe place; it is too delicate. Events and small things make strong impressions on it. A precious stone needs a setting around it - gold or silver - to hold it; in the same way wisdom and knowledge are the settings that will hold your heart in the Divine. To keep your heart safe and your mind sane, you cannot find a better place than the Divine. Then the passing time and events will not be able to touch you; they will not create a scar.

Often, you do not know how to respond, or feel obliged and bound, when someone shows a lot of love. The ability to receive genuine love comes with the ability to give love. The more you are centered and know by experience that love is not an emotion; it is your very existence, the more you feel at
home with any amount of love expressed in any manner.

There are three kinds of love. The love that comes out of charm, that which comes out of comfort and divine love. The love that comes out of charm does not last long. It comes out of unfamiliarity or attraction. In this, you lose the attraction fast, and boredom sets in. This love may diminish and bring along with it a fear, uncertainty, insecurity and sadness.

The love that comes out of comfort and familiarity grows, but it has no thrill, no enthusiasm, joy, or fire to it. For example, you are more comfortable with an old friend who is a familiar person rather than with a new person. Divine love supersedes both the above. It has an ever present newness. The closer you go, more charm and depth come to it. There is never boredom and it keeps everyone on their toes.

Worldly love can be like an ocean, yet an ocean has a bottom. Divine love is like the sky which is limitless. From the bottom of the ocean, soar into the vast sky.

Ancient love transcends all these relationships and is inclusive of all the relationships. 

Often, one experiences love at first sight. Then as time goes on, it decreases, decays, turns into hatred and disappears. When the same love becomes a tree with the manure of knowledge, it becomes Ancient love that goes from lifetime to lifetime. That is our own consciousness. You are not limited to this present body, this present name, this present form and the present relationships around you. You may not know your past, your ancientness. But just know you are ancient, that is good enough.

When love blows, it is anger: when it ferments, it is jealousy; when it flows, it is compassion and when it glows, it becomes bliss.

(Gurudev has spoken more on love in Narada Bhakti Sutras!!!)
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Rise in Love with your Self this Valentine!!!

Love, everyone is looking for such a love that never dies. As time goes it seems to be dying out. You see? But we are looking for some love that stands the time – the old, ancient, strong, powerful love -
The Divine Love!

To download more Art of Living wall papers, Click Here

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For success in life you need yukti (skill), shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom)

Feb 2011, Bangalore Ashram
Q: What are the ingredients to be successful? How come Lord Krishna found Success in everything He does?
 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
For success in life you need yukti (skill) and shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom).
 Freedom and love in personal life! Without freedom you will find no love and without love there is no joy. Freedom doesn’t mean doing anything. You follow some norms, a little discipline. And in social life you need shakti and yukti, strength and skill. And this is what Ramayana and Mahabharata tells you.
Though Duryodhana had all the power but he had no yukti, no bhakti. The skill was with Krishna and so he won.

Q: During the time of Buddha it is said 10000 people were enlightened. In your time how many will be?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
This time the number will be even greater! :)

Q: How much importance should we give to Vaastu Shastra in our life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is an ancient scripture which has scientific basis. It says which direction the wind blows, which direction the cosmic energies are moving. Unfortunately, we don't have the whole of Vaastu Shastra. Lot of it is lost, destroyed. So whatever we think we have and our Vaastu people have, we are making use of it. Take it with a pinch of salt. There is something interesting about it, there are scientific validations to that. There are scientific validations to ancient thoughts. Just that not explained scientifically. We need to understand some of the customs properly. More research is to be done.

Q: Guruji what is the difference between love and attraction?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Attraction is short lived, but love lasts much longer. Love takes you in, the other is exterior!

Q: Guruji, I have had a wonderful experience of doing the Part 1 course. I humbly request you to not enter politics and continue the good work that you are doing.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I have no intention of going into politics. But when politician are doing something wrong, I have every right to squeeze their ears.

Q: When mind becomes imbalanced will meditation help?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is just a matter of time. Some moments you feel shraddha, bhakti etc. have just gone. Once that time is gone, it will come back. Even when mind feels restless, just sit in Satsang. Do more pranayama and see the difference.

Q: How does one know when one has been transformed by meditating? Does a person become aware that he has transformed?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Without doubt you will feel elevated. You don't need another proof. Do you ask someone whether you have pain or not. Similarly when you are happy, joyful you know that you are happy. In the same way it is very obvious when you are calm and serene, turn back and see what were you before and how the knowledge has transformed you now. That contrast, that difference will tell you.

Q: Here you are teaching about the organic farming and rural development, I would like to know about all this so that I can go back and start something.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You can go on the Ashram tour. You can go and visit the pathshaala, the goshala. One of the best Ayurvedic hospitals is coming up here. In Ayurvedic College, there is an exhibition about herbs, how each and every aspect of creation can help us. They are very nicely done. They put the herb and how and for what it is beneficial. See when you consume a whole herb, it has a different effect. In allopathy, when you are extracting only a portion of the herb and not the whole, it doesn’t leave that effect. So, the chemicals used adversely affect the body.

Q: Can love happen twice? Husband and wife are already in a relationship? Can husband or wife start loving someone else?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Tell me are you single or married? Ok, so you are single. If you are married and your wife tells you that she loves someone else, then how will you feel?
(I will feel bad.)
If you flirt with someone else, she will feel the same. Once you decide to get married, then just be faithful. Before choosing you can look for suitable match, but once you decide, settle down. Is that a good idea?
Rise in love, don't fall in love. I see that so many youth, they are in love with someone and the person they are in love with someone else, so they make a whole emotional mess in the mind. Please don’t do that.
Love is eternal and life is eternal. If it is not coming to you in one form, wait it will come to you in another form.

Q: Why swamis have beard and long hair?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
We do 100%, either we take everything off or keep everything. But it is no sign to get beard or long hair to get enlightened. Anyone can get enlightened, anyone can meditate.
Outer appearance is immaterial. This is just a uniform.

Q: When we take rebirth when does the old soul enter the body?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Rebirth happens! So many times we have died and taken birth. Soul can enter the womb at any one of the three times: at the time of conceiving, or the 3rd month of pregnancy, or at the time of birth. Many souls race and from these souls only one gets the body. In a race only one comes first, right? Sometimes, there are two then there are twins!

Q: 2011 will be yugantam (end of the world) according to many beliefs. Please speak on that.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yugantam is another transition of time. Nothing is going to happen.

Q: I am into a field of research where I try to figure out the reasons of chaos in the world. In one of my researches when I was finding some conflicting threads in various religious prevalent beliefs, I found both Lord Budha and Lord Shankarya Charya had spoken of Soul. Can you throw some more light on seeming different statements of the Masters as per different times?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Lord buddha said that everything is nothing. Everything dissolves into nothing. He said, I meditated to see the soul and found no soul.
Shakaracharya said: “Who searched? Who found that everything is nothing? Who said I did not find the Atma? That is Atma. That is what upanishads say. Buddha says the whole universe is empty like the space, Shankara Charya says the whole universe is full like space - everything is in space.

Q: There are two concepts: Re-incarnation and heaven and hell. Please speak about them!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Re-incarnation is very scientific. Matter and energy cannot be destroyed. Mind is energy! It has been scientifically proven that re-incarnation happens. You need to read more!

Q: Guruji how to handle a teenage child?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Teenagers, when you have to manage them, you should know how to ride a horse - neither too lose nor too tight! Some times you let it loose, sometimes you hold it tight. So keep a balance.

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When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are liberated

February 10 2011, Bangalore Ashram

Q: Guruji, what is Nirvana? Or better, give it to us right now!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Nirvana is bringing the balance and having no feverishness for any desire. Desire means a lack. When you say, I want nothing, I am content, that is nirvana. But that doesn't mean you shun your duties. You perform your duties well but you are with your center. Even craving for enlightenment is an hindrance to enlightenment.
All emotions are linked with people, objects and events. Catching on to objects, people or relationships hinders freedom, liberation. When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are liberated. The state of nothingness is called Nirvana, enlightenment, Samadhi. Nirvana is getting back to me from mine. Who am I?
When you go deep inside you, layer after layer, that is nirvana. It is like peeling an onion! What do you find in the center of an onion? Nothing!
When you know that everything is changing - all relationships, people, body, feelings - suddenly the mind which clings on to misery comes back to you. The return from mine to me, gives you contentment and freedom from misery. Reposing in that state of contentment is nirvana.

Q: Do you get moksha by effort or without any effort?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both! It is like catching a train. Once you get into the train you have to rest. You cannot keep thinking that I have to get down at this station all the time. You need to rest. You don't have to do anything then. Just sit and relax!

Q: When someone has done something wrong and don't even realize it how do you forgive them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you forgive then your mind becomes calm. Tell them with compassion and love, not with anger. If you become happy by putting guilt in someone's mind that is not good either. Tell them with love and then you drop it.

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The world is made up of both; the seen universe and the unseen consciousness

Satsang at Bangalore Ashram on 7th February 2011

Q: What is real and what is unreal?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Things are changing. Everything that is changing is unreal!

Q: Even Siddhas have to take a few births to get enlightened. Why is it so difficult to get enlightened?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is not difficult. It is challenging!

Q: Are there different types of nirvana?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes! Just as there are different flavors of ice-cream, there are various schools of thought. But the material is the same.

Q: What is the importance of celibacy?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Celibacy is something that happens spontaneously. When every cell of your body is happy, you don't need an act to be happy.
It is a phenomenon not an act. And abstinence, to some extent, is good as it saves energy.

Q: Guruji, I am an Art of Living volunteer. What makes me worthy of being an Art of Living ambassador?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Just this fact, that you are grateful of being an ambassador, makes you worthy. The most important quality on this planet is humility.

Q: What should I do with this over active mind? Thoughts are painful, please guide!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Too many thoughts come because you have so much free time. Too many thoughts is a sign of imbalance between the mind and the heart. When feeling is kindled thoughts will subside. Also it could be a result of improper digestion; take care of your digestion.

Q: Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain on his little finger, is it true?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Well, there are big weight lifters today. Everything is possible. There is no reason not to believe that Krishna lifted the Govardhan. (What they call Govardhan is a small hillock. You can go and see it.)
Go’ means knowledge.
Vardhan’ means enhancing the knowledge.
For Krishna it was so easy to lift the consciousness of 1000s of people by playing the flute. Indra stands for mob psychology or collective consciousness. So, Krishna with his group uplifted the entire society. This is what it means.

Q: Jai Gurudev means victory to the big mind. But doesn't the small mind play a role in this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Small mind has its role. It is only because of the small mind that the big mind wins. It is Obvious. There are only two kinds of people: those who are victorious, and those who make others victorious.

Q; As per Hindu mythology, every God has a weapon. What is your shastra?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
I think that a smile by itself is enough. It works where all weapons fail! :)

Q: Can you speak something about seen and the unseen? Like you said collective consciousness, the mind.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You can’t see the mind, you can only feel it. The Self (atma) is energy. There is electricity everywhere. This body is like a wire, and the electricity in this body – that is the atma.
The form and the formless are both essential. The world is the form of the Divine but the Divine is formless. The world is made up of both; the seen universe and the unseen consciousness. Here in India both are acknowledged effortlessly!

*Karma simply means action.
Action has got 3 forms: one is latent, that which is going to become an action, the action itself and the consequence of the action.
The first is like the seed of a tree, the second a full grown tree and the third when the tree becomes a seed again.
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Yoga is a study of life, study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego.

Excerpts from an Interview from recent Punjab Visit

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The leaders should have a broader vision. If leaders have really a broader vision, the summit in Copenhagen wouldn’t have blocked. They don’t care for the entire planet; instead they are only caring about the smaller perspective of their national interest. If their national interest is more than human interest or interest of the planet then they are at loss. So I want the leaders to take a lead, first of all curb the menace of depression that is setting in the world. 30% of Europe is suffering from depression, and the psychologists say that it is going to go up to 50%. In India it is normal but in Europe, it is around 30% to 38%.
It is very less in India, in the metropolitan cities it may be around 10% to 12% but not at all in the villages, maybe 2% or 1%

Interviewer: So the courses you have introduced definitely help in depression?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Definitely!

Interviewer: Scientifically, Has it been seen? Can we write it in medical journals?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yeah! It has already been published by NIMHANS (National Institute of
Mental Health and Neuro Sciences) and IAMS, they have published a paper on it.

Interviewer: Guruji, there are so many schools of Yoga, so many teachers who advocate different forms of Yoga, what exactly is Yoga, for layman who knows nothing about Yoga, what is it exactly? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yoga is a study of life, study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego. Study of your inner faculties!

Interviewer: There is another thing Guruji, there is violence at individual level also and at national, international level also but how do we tackle this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You know violence is a result of fermented stress. When stress gets fermented and it is not rooted out in its infancy, it either turns into societal violence or depression or suicidal tendencies. These are two things that happen. Stress comes up and then either one gets suicidal on one hand or they swing towards becoming violent and agitated. So yoga brings that balance to the personality; balance of body, mind and spirit. Yoga brings that equanimity and balance; decency in one’s personality. That’s why we say ‘Yogyatha’ for one who is qualified. The qualification to be called a decent human being comes to you through Yoga because then you can balance your emotions, you have a say over your behavior. It’s not like your behavior goes out of your control.

Interviewer: Guruji, one last question. The most important thing that you think we must imbibe in our life.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Human values and we must value life and its main characteristic ‘compassion’ more than anything else.

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Naadha Vaibhavam – The other force which binds us all together is Music

Chennai, January 30, 2011

The purpose of music is to create silence deep within you and the purpose of silence is to create dynamism in life, so that silence which doesn’t create dynamism is no good and that music which doesn’t create silence, peace, harmony within one self is no good either. This is a great Yagna where hundreds and thousands of us have joined together and are singing because music binds us all together. Across race, religions, continents, there is one power that unites everyone other than love and that is music. Music touches the heart of everyone, so whether you are a musician or not is immaterial, everyone should sing. When you start singing you become a musician. 
Music cleanses your feelings, makes your feelings softer, lighter and if the feeling are purified, the thoughts get purified; you know the right thought comes to you. The intuitive aspect in you wakes up and this is what spirituality is. Music and spirituality is so intertwined, one cannot be without the other especially in this country music and spirituality were never perceived as separate things. It is so wonderful to see 5700 musicians on the stage, many more wanted to come but I was told stage can only take this much. I am seeing them also singing along and this is what we want and there are so many others around the world who are participating in this event, they are also singing.
Everything is possible when there is divinity, when there is divine grace and music is that way where in you go deep into yourself, relax! There is one power that is underneath all the living beings in the planet including trees, birds and animals, that one power that is underneath all of us you start dancing when you are singing with all your heart.
In a place where there is music, where there is art, where there is dance, where there is meditation and yoga, how can there be violence there?

Yoga, Pranayaman, Meditation, Ayurveda and eating food which is grown organically, we must resolve to incorporate these into our life.

So shall we do a short meditation? Meditation is not concentration okay, it is de-concentration, it is deep relaxation, huh, de-concentration. Meditation is the journey from movement to stillness, from sound to silence. We are responsible for our happiness. So we take responsibility to keep our enthusiasm, our happiness high, for that you have to meditate and do pranayam and all this and also social service.

More on the factors affecting the quality of Consciousness!

Jan 2011, Bangalore Ashram!

Q: Could you talk about the sound OM and its significance?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is also called the sound of one-hand clapping. The sound which is generated in the universe, not out of friction! Om is universal sound, so when people went deep in meditation, they heard it and they’ve been using it for millions of years. Recently, scientists who mapped the sound on the computer said that it has the same frequency as earth’s rotation around its own axis.

In the sound Om, our Prana covers our whole body. Om has such a resonance with nature - if you stand by the ocean and listen to the waves rolling, you will hear the sound Om. You go on top of a mountain and just listen to the wind blowing, you will hear the sound Om.
Maharishi Patanjali - the profounder of yoga said to ward away all the obstacles in life, Om can be practiced. It is one of the methods that he enunciates. Before meditation, when we sit and chant Om three times, and then use our mantra – whatever mantra we have been given, then, meditation goes very deep.
In China there is a very famous doctor who was suffering from seven major illnesses and he shared his experience. He said that it was his experience that he used to have 500 grams of medication everyday to no avail. Then, he started singing Om for one to two hours every day and in two years he was relieved of all diseases that were thought to be incurable. And his colleagues were surprised. Now this gentleman is calling it the music therapy and he is teaching this to people in China on national television.
When he shared his experience, I thought it is exactly what Maharishi Patanjali has said in the Patanjali yoga sutras - Ek tatva abhyasa (practice the one tatva, one principle that is Om). It’s called music therapy in China, singing Om. Sound is nothing but energy. It’s nothing but electricity. Our whole body is nothing but electricity. And it can make a big impact on the cells of our body.

Q. Guruji, how does Om differ from other forms of meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There are so many different kinds of meditation. Each one is unique in their own fashion. No need to compare them. For many this may suit, for many others, that may suit. And different times, different meditations may suit. Omkar is always good to begin with, however don’t use it as a mantra in meditation.

Q. How does it differ from our guided meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
In guided meditation, you don’t have to do anything. Meditation will be done for you. Just feel, "Divinity is doing meditation for me, let me just relax". Someone else is piloting the plane and you simply have to fasten the seat-belt, sit back and relax.

Don’t use Om as a mantra for meditation be cause then there is an effort. It is good to enhance the prana as pranayama in the beginning or in the end. But don’t sit and say, om om om. It may shoot up your energy too much and you may not know how to handle it. You may not get sleep.
In the beginning we chant Om three times, five times or seven times, and relax.

Q. In the Udhava Gita, Krishna says when a man is close to enlightenment, the gods or devas (Specific Divine energies) send him a woman. This is the ultimate distraction. In this life, do we always look
at women as a barrier to spiritual growth? What about the sanctity of male-female love?
Does it have no place in the space of divine love?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
So, what is your question? Why Krishna said that to Udhava? Well, Krishna said many different things to different people at different times. Now, I am not going to be an advocate for Krishna right now. But if he has said this to Udhava, it must be at a particular stage of time, right? But for you, if you have fallen in love with somebody, there is no problem. You can definitely get married. Don’t think there is no place for romance or romance is against spirituality. No, it is not. Promiscuity is against spirituality. Unethical exploitation of others is against spirituality. But if you are genuinely in love with a girl, and she is in love with you, it’s okay. But if you are in love with somebody and she is in love with someone else, then you are in trouble and she is in trouble. The only person who would benefit in this case is the telephone company! And if you are in love, and your parents agree then it’s great. But your romance should continue later too with the same person.
Last month, a boy got married here and he said, I’m getting married to the same girl for the third time – first time was in America, then in Delhi and now, here. This way, you can celebrate your romance every day. Spirituality is against any type of corruption. In the name of romance, if we are getting into lust and exploiting people, that is not right.
Romance is 'I am here for you. I want to share whatever I have with you.' It should come from a space of giving rather than grabbing. That romance is spiritual. In fact, in India the concept of romance with the divine was brought out. Radha-Krishna are very well known throughout the country.

Krishna told Udhava that this is all a distraction for you. At that time, Udhava was also quite old. If you also come here after 50 years and tell me that you have fallen in love with someone, I will say this is a distraction. Right now at 25, if you come here and tell me that you are in love, I’ll say go ahead. But at the age of 55!

Q. Guruji, how does it differ from techniques involving concentration or contemplation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Usually, we sit and contemplate on some knowledge, on some scriptures. We are keeping our mind active. The mind is thinking and thinking and thinking. Thinking is also an activity and does not bring any rest to the mind. So contemplation should never be called meditation.
Concentration involves a lot of effort. You are trying to focus your mind to stay in one place, which is not its nature. Mind jumps from one thing to another and it goes from something which is charming to something which is even more charming.
Mind always flows towards something that is even more charming. When you are having very good food then you are attentive with the food. However when something on television comes or a beautiful scenery comes, you forget about the food and watch the scenery.

You mind goes from this to that. You mind always goes from one thing to another and it always goes to something that is more enjoyable. At least, it perceives that something is more joyful. It may not really be the source of joy. In fact, it is not.
Concentration is – trying to focus the mind on one point against its nature. So we are forcing our mind. Children get into so much stress and tension because their mind is forced on something which is not in their natural taste. They are forced to study such topics for which they have the least inclination. Then, it causes so much strain.

Concentration again is tremendous effort. So, it can’t be meditation. Though, you will need concentration in life. Now, both concentration and contemplation are results of meditation – they are not meditation itself. Meditation is effortless!
When the mind takes the deepest rest, it becomes so fresh and alive. And after that deep rest, your concentration is spontaneous. It’s natural. Concentration becomes effortless.
You are able to contemplate well without strain. Meditation unfortunately is understood to be another concentration or contemplation in many parts of the world. But it is not.
Meditation is the art of doing nothing. It’s the skill by which you make your mind become quiet and do nothing and experience the vastness of space deep within.
So, effortlessness is the key to meditation. And if we can do a few minutes of meditation, you will find that concentration has improved and your intellectual abilities are boosted.

Q. Guruji, how is it different from the meditative state that comes with the practice of Sudarshan kriya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Sudarshan kriya leads you to that inner space - a state of thoughtlessness, a state of stillness and the art of meditation helps you go deep into that state. So, they complement each other. If you meditate after the Sudarshan kriya, your meditation is deeper. And if you are meditating regularly, the kriya becomes easier and more natural.

Q. Can it be said that in the Art of Meditation, the mind leads the body and in kriya, the
body leads the mind to the same end? Can you please elaborate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You can’t say that the body leads the mind or the mind leads the body. What you can say is that the body, breath and mind getting into the rhythm is Sudarshan kriya. Finding that inner harmony and depth, and manifesting it on the surface, on the physical level of the body and breath is meditation. Through mantra, you go to the deepest level of your consciousness and bring that to expression in your day-to-day activity. That is meditation.

Q. Could you please discuss the value of Vedic tradition of masters who have preserved
this meditation for thousands of years in its purity? Why is this important? Can we
describe the Art of Meditation as a gift from the masters of the holy tradition?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
From thousands of years, many sages down the line have preserved this art of meditation and it is a gift to the humanity. In the middle ages, people thought it should only be given to a very qualified student and real seeker. They used to give it only to a sincere seeker. But I thought, on the contrary, if you give meditation to somebody, sincerity will blossom in their lives. So, I thought (I should) give it to everybody and it will bring a change in the quality of their life. And when they want higher knowledge, they will go deeper into it. So, for everyone it brings some benefit or the other. To whatever extent they go into it! I usually give the example of the ocean. Some people take a walk along the beach and they get good oxygen, fresh air and they are happy with that.
Others would put their feet in the water and feel that scintillating impact of the ocean.
Some others go surfing or scuba-diving and they find corals and precious things. So, it’s up to you – if you want to take a walk on the beach or go for a swim or go deeper and go scuba-diving, Ocean is there available to you. It is the same with meditation. You can do meditation to improve your health or your mental faculties or further if you want to go, spiritual elevation can happen in the same meditation.

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