Your own doubt can act like applying a break & driving the car
Montreal, July 10:
Q: Dear Guruji, is Shiva consciousness and Krishna consciousness the same?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, yes, they’re same. Krishna consciousness is a little naughtier, that’s it. When it is silent,it is Shiva consciousness, when it is active,it is Krishna consciousness.
Q: Is there a place in our consciousness where everything is known? If yes, how can we go there?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Yes, our consciousness is like having a library. In a library, there are millions of books, right? The librarian holds all the books but it is not necessary that he knows every book by heart. But he knows where what is and when it is needed, he can pick it up and know it.
In the same way, though our consciousness is the abode of all the knowledge, it is not necessary to know everything all the time. Impossible. It is impossible in a physical body to know everything all the time. But when you are still, when your mind is in absolute stillness, and there is no craving and aversions, it is just free. Then you are like the librarian, who possesses all. The owner of the library who has all the knowledge and he can access it when it is needed, if it is needed. A lawyer has all the books but he doesn’t by-heart all the books all the time. But when a particular case comes up he knows which book to pick up and where exactly to put his finger.
In the same way our consciousness is an abode of all knowledge, right? When you are so still and free from mental modulations - that is when you are a yogi. Then you can know… that’s why the still consciousness, yogic consciousness is calledsarvagna.‘Tatraniratishayamsarvagyabeejam’ is a sutra in yoga sutras. In that consciousness, when you’re in a Samadhi state, the seed of all-knowingness is present in that.
Q: How do you know when you have found your Guru?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I have no idea how you will find that out. It’s the heart that tells you. You can’t think about it. It doesn’t happen by judgment. Just be relaxed.
Q: What is the difference between soul, atma, and jeeva? Are they the same?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Soul is the English word, Atma is Sanskrit. The root word of self is swa, swa means atma. Most of the English words, when you go into the root, you’ll find Sanskrit there.Swa means Self.Swa means Atma. Jeeva is the Self enclosed in the mind. It’s like the air enclosed inside a balloon. Jeeva has sukha –happiness,dukha-sorrow, sanghata- it has associations, chaitanya- it is conscious, dhrti. These are five attributes of the jeeva, the embodied Self. Sanghata- it has impressions of associations, it is conscious and dhrti, it upholds.
Q: Dear Guruji, how does one develop a ‘Yes’ attitude?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just your wanting to have a yes attitude, you are already there.
Q: Could you please explain hollow and empty again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, our job is to empty and you want to put a concept in it! Explanation is a concept, isn’t it? Scientifically know that everything is hollow and empty, your throat is hollow. That’s how you could swallow, and that’s how you could drink. Isn’t it? If the stomach is not hollow, how could you stuff so many truck loads of food in it? Isn’t it? And it gets empty very soon.
See per day, just imagine, per day you consume 2 KG of food easily, isn’t it? In one year you consume 750 kilos of food. That is almost a truckload in one year, and if you’re 40 years, 40 truckloads of food have gone through your whole body. How can it happen if it’s not hollow and empty? How can you breathe in so much air every day and breathe out if it is not hollow?
Do one thing. Take a small piece of your skin and go to a lab and put it under a microscope and you will see it is like a mosquito net. Your skin is all hollow and empty. So what we are saying in hollow and empty mediation is a fact. To be with the fact, to bring to awareness the fact that you are breathing; you are there, your body is here and the body is different from the floor, floor is different from body, and the skin is different from the clothes.
So when we go on analyzing, seeing like this, meditation happens. Does it happen or not? How many had a good meditation today? Three dimensions are with us: body, breath and mind. You never pay attention. Body is one dimension, breath is another dimension, then what is watching and knowing this is the mind. This is another dimension. So the three dimensions, once you see are all separate,then boom, something happens.
Q: Dear Guruji, I have told lies to someone using your name and every day I feel guilty about it. How do I get rid of this guilty feeling? I promise I will never do it again.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, that is done. You have promised and it’s done. Move on. I know many people have used my name that way and people also know. People take Guruji’s name and get their way through. So anyways, there is no point in regretting the past. You have taken the resolution you will not do that again. So move on, okay? Done.
Q: Where should we direct our energy during silence? Where does the attention go when we walk outside? Thank you Guruji
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Two things: Observe the nature, second is, observe yourself, your own breath, your own body. And do it with least amount of effort. Don’t use too much effort. Okay? Just a gentle awareness is good enough; some people put so much effort doing it. Then they get headaches, they get so tired. We shouldn’t do that. The whole process is effortless, sadhana is totally effortless. Got it? Hm. The only effort you need to put here is to make sure you don’t eat too much food. If it is too tasty, inform the kitchen. Ask them to make it less tasty. That’s the problem, the food is too tasty then you feel like having one more, one more. If you don’t eat too much, then you are on the safe side. Too much food makes you feel dull. Meditation doesn’t happen then. Moderation, don’t fast also, just the right amount of food.
Q: Guruji, how to improve people’s skills and communication skills?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is important. Talk less, observe more.
Second, don’t put your ideas too much so that the other person doesn’t digest it or take it, got it? Don’t keep pouring your ideas. Sometimes we do that, we pour too much of our ideas. The other person, you don’t even observe whether they’re grasping it,whether they’re understanding it or not.
Third, don’t bore them with your stories of failures or success. Your failure stories will bore others as much as your success stories. Oh I went here, I did this, I did that and the listener will say, ‘Oh my god when will this guy stop’! But in your own mind, there is such a joy that comes to you while talking; you don’t consider the other person’s listening ability at all. We don’t think about their listening ability or their relevance to it. How many of you agree with that? We must watch out for that. And then, instead of telling them what you like, ask them what they want, what do they like. Sometimes we declare all that we like and we dislike.
Who asked you to declare? It’s not an income tax department, asking you to declare your assets or your achievements; we go out of the way to declare all of our achievements, our likes and our dislikes. For a listener,you appear to be a very self centered person, drop this. The more pleasant you are, the more centered you are, you’ll be more liked by people. What do you say? Correct. Be centered and you want nothing from the person.
We, in our mind, we want some recognition from the other, we want some appreciation from others, we want some favor from others. Favor, recognition, or appreciation these are the things that puts a break on you being very friendly with people. In the heart when you say, ‘ I want nothing from this person, I don’t need to be appreciated by them’, then you will see the big shift that happens within you. It’s not out of arrogance that I want nothing from anybody, that’s not arrogance. Do you see what I’m saying? There’s a difference between arrogance and this. In arrogance still you want some recognition, yes? You don’t look for an approval or recognition from them. You should remember that everybody is caught up in their own little world.
Q: Dear Guruji, could you please share with us what you experience during deep meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just myself. Like doctors have some ethics, gurus also have some ethics - not to speak of their experience. Otherwise you would sit and close your eyes saying,’ Oh I want that experience, oh Guruji is in Samadhi, I want that Samadhi’. No.
Q: Guruji, who are Aryans? Please explain the origin of different races Asian, Europeans…
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, anthropologists have all the logics and theories and there are many who agree and disagree and contradict. It is all in the history books, my dear. So many theories have come up, don’t bother about it. This is because of the presumption of some people that people must have been born in one place and spread everywhere afterwards. It is not necessary people are born only in one place. There could be births in ten places at the same time. Why should there be a single origin? This is erroneous thinking.
Historians in the past had only linear thinking. They only had one origin and everything going from there. They don’t know this idea of spherical thinking - means at the same time, in many places, life could have been created. Yes? In the Puranas it says there’s not just one place. In many places simultaneously people were created. And that seems to be the correct thing, not just one source or one origin for people. In Sanskrit, “Arya” means the noble, that’s it. Arya means what? The noble, cultured, civilized, educated - so it’s an educated, cultured person. Mister, like you say mister or miss, honorable, that way Arya was addressed. The way people were addressing the well- educated, cultured people - Arya. The word sir is similar to the word arya. In all the Sanskrit dramas this word is used. In the Vedas it is said,“Krinvantovishvamaryam,” let’s make the whole world Arya. It means let’s make everyone educated, cultured, civilized - that’s what it means.
Q: If someone has wronged me, should I try to take matters in hand and attempt to punish that person or leave it up to the nature to set the record straight?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Of course it takes more effort, courage, intelligence to set somebody right. If you have the patience, do it. And if you feel it’s costing you too much, it is getting on your own nerves,then leave it to nature.
Q: Dear Guruji, when faced with the choice of two equally attractive options, what is the determining factor in making the choice?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This can happen only happen with two things - either your job or your relationships! In these circumstances my single advice is ‘choice is yours blessing is mine’.
Q: Sometimes I am really successful in managing my thoughts, other days even with yoga, meditation, and kriya it doesn’t work. What can I do? Thank you
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Hmmm. You get too many thoughts? If your bowel movements are not okay then also the thoughts go haywire.Sopurifying the body through ayurveda - triphala would help. Second, pranayama, bhastrika, hard work, exercise, get on the treadmill and run, you know. Finally, let the thoughts be there. Why do you want to get rid of them? Don’t fight with them. They come and they go. Best not to meddle with them. Yes? The continuous thoughts that bombard your mind - logical thoughts are one side of your brain the other side of the brain is music. When you want to shift -sing, go into music. Activity in the other side of the brain - that should help. But if a particular fear or desire is affecting you again and again, offer that, surrender that to the Divine. That’s it.
Q: Immigrants from third world countries deal with a lot of stress.Please provide some word of wisdom and love to us in this time of racial discrimination and failing economy.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Hmm. Have the faith and know the best will happen. And even momentarily if it appears not to be the best thing for you, in the long run, when you see yourself, your life, whatever is best will happen to you. You should have this faith.That will carry you through, okay? It can also make your sankalpa, your intention stronger. If you in doubt, ‘Oh maybe I have this problem, maybe I will not succeed.’ See your own doubt can act like applyinga break and driving the car. Your hand break is on and you’re driving the car. So know that the best will happen to you in your life. That’s it. Relax. Okay?
Q: Dear Guruji, please say something about Shiva. I am Shiva worshipper and he has brought me to Art of Living and you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Shiva is the principle in which everything is born, into which everything will go. There is no escape from Shiva. Shiva tatva means Shiva Principle. Shiva is not a person. Shiva is the space, is the consciousness. To describe that they put Shiva in blue. Blue means like the sky. You know, Shiva’s description is so beautiful (reciting a Sanskrit verse) it’s like liberation, liberation from everything. It is the lord, it is the most powerful, it is all over, spread everywhere. There is no place that it is not. It is where all the knowledge is present, that consciousness, that space. It has no attributes. It was never born, Shiva was never born nor has any attributes. It is a Samadhi state where there is nothing, just the inner sky of consciousness. That is what is Shiva.
Where there is alertness and no action. To describe the alertness they put a snake around Shiva’s neck. They put a trident in the hands of Shiva - means it is beyond the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping. Shiva is holding a trident that means it is beyond the three states, in the fourth state, which is absolutely benevolent. The one state in which everything exists in the universe -the dark space, the dark energy - scientists today started calling it the dark space and the dark energy - in which everything else exists. The sun, moon, stars, everything exists in this one solid state of consciousness.
Q: Guruji, when we are doing our practices kriya and meditation together, are we affected by other people’s negativity and bad karmas?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, no, no, absolutely not. Don’t worry. If you feel like you are getting affected by somebody’s depression or somebody’s negative energy, just say Om NamahShivaya a few times. It’s gone. It can happen. When people are so depressed and are not in proper shape and you meet them you may feel that. How many of you feel that, when you meet very depressed people something happens to your own body, right? Om NamahShivaya, Jai gurudev - it just disappears.
Q: Guruji, I want to be friends with the whole world but my mind is a barrier, big barrier.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Befriend the mind. Yeah? If you consider it a barrier, it will be a barrier. If you consider it a friend, it will be a friend.
Q: How does one let go of the thoughts related to the past that keep coming?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do one thing; give a big hug to that thought. Don’t try to get rid of it, you will see it goes.
Q: How does one move past a broken and abandoned heart? Thank you, love you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are in the right place. You know what, you must know about your death you must know you are going to die one day. That’s it. The whole drama is going to finish. Where are you? Wake up,wake up. We are all going to be finished one day. Everything is going to finish. Something bothers you too much? It is because you have forgotten you are going to die. Knowledge of death or just an awareness that we are going to die one day, everything is going to be finished, nothing will bother you anymore. Got it?
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