When you let go the best will come to you

Bangalore, 30 November 2011

Q: In order to bring change in the system it is said you should get into the system. But when we are in the system we are in a position where we don’t want to upset the people who are working with us, then how do we bring change?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: For that you should have skill.
uth does not mean rudeness. Often people who think they are just being truthful are very rude. Rudeness blocks communication and can disturb the harmony. It also destroys the sense of listening. For anybody to hear you, you should have their ears first for listening. If you block the listening however correct you are, it just doesn’t get absorbed. They don’t take it.
So to buy someone’s ear you should not to be rude. And if you are rude you cannot buy someone’s ear. You can be firm but you cannot afford to be rude. And often we don’t know the line between firmness and rudeness. That is the problem.

Q: Jai Gurudev. How many types of Gitas are there and what are they?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
: Yes there is Uddhava Gita, Anu Gita, Guru Gita, Gopi Geet. Like these there are many Gitas.

Q: There is a lot of talk on FDIs in retail. Please give your views on that.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you travel around the world, whether the East or West, from Malaysia to Argentina you find only these multi-national chains of shops all over the place, like Walmart, 7-Eleven. These stores are there from Japan to Argentina. It is only in India there is some breathing space. In China and India it is a little different.
You come to India and you find all these different stores with different name, some local and some national shops. Of course India is a very big market so many of these big stores wants to come and open shops here but we should study before opening these. We need to study as to how adversely it might affect the economy and the small shops here.
I was told in Delhi all the big malls got shut down because people don’t go there. They prefer to go to small shops. So one view is, so what if we open these big stores anyways nobody will go. People will go to their small shops. You cannot use this logic before you take a step like this because once you take such a step there is no going back on it.
This should be studied and hasty decisions should not be made.

So with the nuclear agreement itself there are a lot of issues and serious concerns that our scientists have put forward which the government has not addressed.

Q: Are there any indications on what the purpose of life is?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
: First purpose is to find out the purpose of life. Once you find it then relax.

Q: Guruji, I am not a very sad person nor do I find life depressing. But many times when I wake up in the morning I have a heavy heart and feel lonely and feel like crying. What is that and how do I stop feeling this way?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Engage yourself in some seva activity, however big or small. If you are engaging yourself in seva activities then these sorts of things will get lifted. Of course listen to some knowledge and do sadhana along with that.

Q: Guruji, all my questions are always answered before asking you. But still there is something that I want to say to you but I am not able to explain it.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Good! That is how many people feel. After having said everything, they still feel, there is something that I want to say but I am not able to say it. This is a normal feeling.

Q: Guruji, the value of the dollar is increasing day by day when compared to rupee. So suppose we use Indian products will it come down?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It should help the economy. We have many Sumeru products which are much better and chemical free, you should all use that. Our own Sri Sri Ayurveda products are there. You must start using them.

Q: Guruji, come what may I am not able to let go of my desires. I am so obsessed and passionate about them that I fear that if I let go of them, what will my life be?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should know when you let go the best will come to you. Don’t be afraid.
And if it is not possible then never mind, hold on to it, but relax!

Q: Jai Gurudev, can a devotee get angry with the Guru? Does a devotee have the freedom to do that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
: Yes, a devotee can be angry, no problem. It is very safe to be angry with the Guru. Tell me, does anger ask you before coming? No! You get angry and then later on you feel guilty; I should have not gotten angry. So don’t try to justify your anger at that time. You got angry because at that time you were ignorant, never mind, move on!

Q: Guruji, you said just smile at those who are criticizing you but it is really not something I can do when somebody criticizes me and my work. I know that is their ignorance but I just can’t share a smile with them. Please guide.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
: Never mind, relax! Do only what you can do. I am not telling you to do something which you cannot do. If you cannot do then okay, relax!

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There is some element within us that does not perish

Mahasatsang at Delhi,  27 Novemnber 2011 

Life is eternal; we never give a thought to this truth.
When someone dies we declare that the person is immortal, but the truth is we ourselves are immortal. That is why we do not feel that we have grown old.
No matter how old a person is, he feels he is never going to die. This feeling is always there. If someone else dies, we say, ‘that poor fellow died.'
Everyone else dies but I don't; this is the feeling which goes on. There is a stream (awareness) within us that cannot be destroyed, which is undying.
To acknowledge and observe that stream is spirituality. Such courage, such strength, such solidity comes in life that nothing can shake you, no one can shake you. It is a subtle stream - 'I have not changed, I have not grown old, I am just the same.'
When you examine your life, the observing of life is spirituality; it is satsang.
Satsang is not just singing bhajans, but pondering the truths of life. What is the most important truth of life - there is some element within us that does not perish, that does not die. There is something within that does not diminish, is inerasable, unchanging and undying. If even the slightest attention is directed to it, life becomes easy and uncomplicated.
The second truth - everything changes - body changes, mind changes, intellect changes, thoughts change, and everything is changing.
This is all I have come to say.
And if we change ourselves, we can change our environment, society and this world. First and foremost, it will have to start within us. Such a smile should blossom from within us that can never fade, cannot be robbed - this is knowledge. To sit in an effort to gain this knowledge is satsang.
'God knows Guruji, how many lifetimes it will take for me to gain this awareness' - do not harbor these thoughts.
Now that you have come to my satsang, believe that you have already gained it. Once you are on the train, know that you will reach the destination. That is for sure.

Being human we all have certain needs and certain responsibilities. Tonight when you go home, sit down and make a list of all your needs and responsibilities.
If your needs are more than your responsibilities, there will be unhappiness in life, guaranteed! If our responsibilities are more than our needs, life will be peaceful. What we need to do is reduce our desires and take on more responsibility.
And when in our life, personal needs disappear and desires no longer exist; an extraordinary, mystical ability is awakened within us that enables us to bless others. When we do not want anything for ourselves, we develop the strength to fulfill the desires of others. This is the second step you have to climb.
First, become aware of your desires and reduce them and whatever is left, have the confidence that by God's grace they will be fulfilled.
The next step is, 'I need nothing.'
When you need nothing, you will become so strong that whatever you say to anyone will become a boon to them. If you bless anyone, it will manifest.
I do not have any desires or demands, and I did not allow any blemishes to appear - and this happened naturally. I want that you also view things this way.

Turn back and look, how our country was; how Delhi was 200 or 500 years ago. In a hundred years from now, if you were to be reborn in the same family, or in a neighbor's family, what kind of world would you like to see? What kind of Delhi or what kind of Yamuna would you like to see? What kind of environment and atmosphere would you like to grow up in? Just think about it.
It is then that we realize that we need to take up some responsibility for our society.

May there be a greater sense of morality and may we be useful to one another – we will have to create such an atmosphere. If it cannot be done alone, we all can join together and do it.
8, 10, 15 or 20 people should get together and take up any social cause. We want a violence-free society
that nurtures a sense of belongingness, a society where we are useful to one another, where there is a feeling of love and understanding amongst neighbors and a mutual sense of respect. Don’t you want that?

Of course you do! But what responsibility have you taken on for it? Now think about it.

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Once you are on this path know that you are purified!

24 November 2011
Mahasatsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at Chandigarh

Is all your work getting done? This is what grace is!
Whoever comes on this path grace is always in abundance.
Instead of bringing flowers for me, you blossom as a flower. There should always be a smile on your face that nobody can take away. Always be joyful like this.
Amongst celebrations and enthusiasm don’t forget what you need to do – Sadhna, Seva and Satsang.
Be happy and spread happiness to others as well.
“Hanson aur hansaon, mat fason aur mat fasaon” - You be happy and make others happy; do not get entangled and do not entangle others.

I always say when I go to other places that I am concerned about Punjab. Many youngsters, boys as well as girls in Punjab have become alcoholics or addicted to drugs. So if you just sit here and say I love you Guruji that won’t be enough.
The most courageous people in the country are from Punjab so if this state is under the shadow of addiction then it would be an immense loss for the country. It would be a loss for India.

So what you need to do is tell those who are addicted to alcoholism that we can give them such a high that will never go away. Bring them to this celebration that they can never forget. Then they can get out of their addictions and start coming to satsang.
We need to take the youth out of addiction. I have heard that 75% of the youth are alcoholics. We need to save Punjab as well as India from this. We all need to work together for this. All those who are using drugs tell them to do pranayama, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya, and the addictions will drop easily.All youths must take a vow that in their weddings there will be no alcohol. People are drinking alcohol in sorrow as well and in joy as well, and this is destroying their health. Take a vow that there will be no alcohol in your wedding. People in your wedding should sway out of joy and not out of drinking alcohol.
It is said that by 2015 the sale of alcohol will rise by four times in our country. So if you take a sankalpa only then this can be stopped. Bring every one of them to this path.

This year the Art of Living has completed 30 years. You go to any corner of this world you will find the Art of Living. If you go to the last city of the Arctic pole, to Tromsø (Norway) where the sun doesn’t rise for two months, there also you will find people practicing pranayama, meditation and Sudarshan Kriya. When I got down at the airport there were so many people.

If you go to the southernmost city of the Southern hemisphere, Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, there also you will find Art of Living. People are so happy that so much transformation has come into their lives. We have become a one world family.
This happens when our heart is pure and clean. If you are regular in meditation, knowledge and pranayama it will purify your heart so much that your blessings to others will bear fruits.
Become like a child. When you are connected to this knowledge, know that you are also very pure.
This is the Ganges of knowledge. Whoever takes a dip in this will not consider himself as a sinner. Once you are on this path, know that you are purified.
There are three things that we must keep in our mind:

1. Those who are involved in alcoholism bring them to this path of Knowledge, Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya.
2. We must all take an oath not serve alcohol at our weddings.
3. And know that you are pure and your heart is clean. In the company of the pure you are also purified. All your past karmas are dropped.
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May everyone's tears become sweet tears of love!

Mahasatsang at Orrisa, 22 November 2011

Satsang means the uniting of hearts with hearts, communicating through the heart. All these formalities are only on the surface but your meeting with your Self is satsang.

This year the Art of Living has completed thirty years.

I remember thirty one years ago, one year before the Art of Living started, I had come here to Bhuvaneshvar. Bhuvaneshvar was a very small city at that time. There was only one street. There weren't as many houses then.
I stayed for a month in a house on the road that went to Puri. There I used to be in silence throughout the day and in the evenings I used to meet with people. Many learned people used to come and visit me from Puri, and we used to have discussions. Many people wanted that I should be appointed to the post of Shankaracharya of Puri but I did not want it at all.
When I visited the Puri Shankar mutt, it was mismanaged and run-down. Swami Niranjananand Saraswati has managed it extremely well now. But back then, thirty years ago the mutt was in a very bad condition. Many people wanted and tried to get me to take it over. But in my heart I felt that I had come here to do something else. Something else was yet to come.

So in the last thirty years, Art of Living has spread to 151 countries in the world. If you go to the last city of the Arctic pole, Tromsø (Norway), you will find people practicing pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. If you go to the southernmost city of the Southern hemisphere, Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, there also you will find Art of Living.
I myself was surprised, when we went to Tierra del Fuego; one thousand people were sitting in the hall singing bhajans, doing pranayama and satsang. I said, 'wow, so it has reached this far!'
There is an old saying, ‘Swadeshe pujyate raja, vidwan sarvatra pujyate’. A king is honored only in his own country, but one who is learned is honored throughout the world.

And who is learned? Not one who has only read books, but a learned person is one who has applied this knowledge to his life.
And with this goal in mind, our University has been started.

Our main goal will be not to turn out individuals with only knowledge from the books, but learned individuals who have implemented this knowledge in their lives. In whose life there is joy, happiness and creativity - a personality that would win wherever he or she goes. Such a personality has to be developed and this is the objective of our university.
Taking the very best from the West and the best from the East and combining it to make an effective educational system - this is my desire. So a combination of science and wisdom; just one will not do.
In science alone, the entire western world has remained incomplete. People are so unhappy. In spite of so much scientific progress they are facing such economic degeneration and are so heavily in debt. 30-40% of the population is suffering from mental diseases and problems.
So our country should adopt the good things from there like their science. Their deficiency is because our knowledge is not there. So we should given them the knowledge from the East and incorporate the knowledge of sciences from the West in our country. Then we can be complete as individuals.
This is the reason why I want this university to strengthen individuals through both self-knowledge as well as science.

Since ages Anga, Vanga, Kalinga were renowned for education. In India, one used to go for education to Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, but now for some time Kalinga has fallen behind.
It is now time to come forward once again and for this work all of you will have to get involved. Everyone will have to participate and it is my desire that we should bring 100% literacy to Orissa and for this we all have to work.

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Acceptance brings calmness in the mind

20 November 2011

Q. When should we listen to the head and when should we listen to the heart?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: While doing business listen to the head. To lead life, listen to the heart.

Q. Basavanna (a great Kannada poet who lived a few centuries ago) has said, ’Compassion is the starting point of Dharma’. What is your opinion about Dharma?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whatever supports and uplifts life and human values is Dharma.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Caste system?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Classifying people based on their birth is incorrect. All human beings are one!

Q. What do we need to do to increase faith?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is no need to put effort. Faith comes by itself.
There are 3 types of faith:
1) Faith in ourselves
2) Faith in the society
3) Faith in a supreme power that governs us all
If we have faith in any one of these, we can progress in life.

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If the eyes are steady in one place, it is impossible for the mind to wander

Bangalore, 19 November 2011

The mind keeps wandering from here to there. How to keep this mind steady at one place? There are three ways to do this.
First, keep something that you love in front of you. When there is something in front of you that you love very much the mind will not wander.
Second is to keep the attention on the breath.
And third is keeping your eyes steady. When your eyes wander here and there, your mind also wanders here and there. When your eyes are steady then the mind also becomes steady. If the eyes are steady in one place, it is impossible for the mind to wander.

This is why the most beautiful idols are made in temples so that the eyes are kept steady.
In those days the mind used to wander more towards jewellery, so they put jewelry on the idols, so the mind remains steady. All the things that the mind might wander towards were kept in one place.
The mind may wander towards beautiful flowers, so flowers were also kept.
They also kept two idols, of a God and a Goddess. Some will be interested in the Goddess and some will be interested in God, and so with the twin idol the mind becomes steady right there.

So to keep the eyes steady all these things used to be done in the early days.
Now the mind is so cunning, that it became used to this. So even if the idol is right in front, the mind kept wandering.
Then what they did was they kept the idol on top of a hill, so one has climb and climb up the hill till they are out of breath and physically exhausted. Then when they go and stand in front of the idol, the mind becomes steady naturally.
Once the mind is steady, then the purpose has been fulfilled. Then whatever one wishes from that state of mind the Lord fulfills all those desires.

Now, going one step further another very beautiful revelation; one who can keep his vision steady without any object and keep his mind steady without any support is a yogi, is a Guru.
This kind of meditation we do in our advanced courses, with a little bit of support initially. Then without support and the mind is at peace.

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Love cannot ascertain authority

Bangalore, 18 November 2011

Q: Dear Guruji, for the sake of love are we to sacrifice everything including our identity, morals, etc?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Vivek (discrimination) is essential here.
Love is not an emotional thing.
Sometimes people think I am so devoted I should get this privilege; I should get to sit right in front. I should get the privilege to do this my way. That is no good.
Love cannot ascertain authority that way.

Q: Gurudev, can a person have two Gurus?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Honor all the masters and walk one path. Because you served them they have sent you to this knowledge.

Q: Respected Guruji, if somebody is being hypnotized and manipulated in various ways then how can one get out of it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation is the antidote for hypnosis. People who meditate and who do pranayama cannot be hypnotized easily. It is very difficult to hypnotize them.

Q: Guruji, what is the meaning of Om Namah Shivaya?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Om Namah Shivaya is one who lives in all the five elements.

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When you feel weak I am with you as your strength, you are not alone!

Bangalore, 16 November 2011

Q: Why do we get attached and how do we get over the feeling of attachment? It is very painful when the person whom we are attached to chooses to leave us.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Remember, whatever is yours will always be yours. Whatever is not yours will come for a little while and then go.
Wake up! Go deep in knowledge.

Q: Guruji, how do I know that I am doing what you expect me to do? Am I on the right path? At times I feel very weak and cry a lot. How can I stop my tears?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you feel weak I am with you as your strength, you are not alone. Whenever you feel weak, know that you are not alone.
Be clear with what you want in your life and what you want to do. Then plan and move on those plans. Sitting and crying being emotional is not going to help. Wake up and see this is the world and the world has its own metrics. See how you can move forward.

Q: I am good at making friends but bad at maintaining friendship, what do I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have identified the problem. Now the solution is to be friendly, but don’t try to be over friendly. Just be yourself and focus on yourself. Don’t go and log on to your friends all the time and think how to impress them and what their opinion of you is. This is such a strain on your mind. Never get into this.
How many years are you going to live? One day you have to leave everything on this planet. You have to leave your good company, bad company, everybody and everything.
When this is the truth you should come out of the ashes of the slumber that you are in and wake up!

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A Yogi is one who has skill in speech and in action

Bangalore, 15 November 2011

Q: Jai Gurudev Guruji. What is moun and how to follow it? What are things that we should avoid during moun?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
: Moun means silence. You are mixing English and Hindi.

How to be in silence? First, by not talking and second is antar moun, quieting the mind.
For that when you sit in an advanced course a number dharanas or pratyahara are given. A number of techniques are given to quite the mind.
In silence it is better to look at the creation. Look at the trees and birds and less at peoples’ faces. You look at peoples’ faces and you feel like talking, expressing or doing something. If you observe the creation it brings quietness to your mind.
Nature can evoke thoughts inside you. It can bring out some poems, some poetry, or some new ideas but only human beings evoke more thoughts in you.
This mind constantly is on the run, to quite that down doing pranayama, observing nature, being conscious of every step you take, eating less food and drinking plenty of water, all of this will work. Some good sleep and satsang music too is good.

Q: Beloved Guruji, I pray to you, I want to marry. You have given your blessings to me as well. Please make the person you have asked me to consult agree too. I have come under your care and shelter. I pray daily to you, will you answer my patient prayers?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, whenever we pray it is necessary that we must follow it up with one sentence.
‘May my wish be fulfilled or if there is something better for me may that be fulfilled’.
How do you know what is best for your well being? So always add this line to your prayer, that if there is anything better for me may that happen.
Whatever is needed and is best for you only will happen. Remember these two things always. For a devotee only the best will happen.
This does not mean you keep rejecting everyone who comes your way thinking something better is yet to come, this is also wrong. Listen to your inner voice.

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Spiritual knowledge always relives you from karma and brings freedom

Bangalore, 14 November 2011

Q: Why is India called as Karmabhumi?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Karmabhumi means where you are here to do action. You come here to get rid of all your karmas. And how do you get rid of the karmas? Through knowledge.
Every part of the world has some specialty. You go to a Scandinavian country and that is known for skiing. You can’t ski in Bangalore. Bangalore is known for Chow Chow, you know the bulb type vegetable which they cook here. It is so delicious; you don’t get it anywhere else in the world.
So nature has put some specialty everywhere.

India has been a spiritual land for a long, long, long time, from millenniums. Spiritual knowledge has gone to the world from India.
Spiritual knowledge always relives you from karma and brings freedom and so it is called Karmabhumi. But if there is no spiritual knowledge it will no longer be a Karmabhumi.

You know Switzerland is known for watches and chocolates. But if other countries are making better chocolates and better watches, Swiss will lose its charm for chocolates and watches. Similarly Canada is known for maple syrup. You can’t get maple syrup anywhere else in the world.
Do you know maple syrup? Many of you have not even heard about it, because we have never heard about maple syrup in this country. Even if you go to Kashmir where there are maple trees, but nobody knows about maple syrup.
So every part of the world has some specialty and India has been endowed with this special gift of spiritual knowledge. That’s why Jesus came here and stayed for twelve years in Mylapore area and learned spirituality. And then went back to teach people. And Muhammad said, ‘I get cool breeze from the east’, from India. So from ages spirituality has found its roots in this country but it fast vanishing. We need to water it and keep it up, okay!

Q: Guruji, why is God neither created nor destroyed.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: God is neither created nor destroyed because God is not a linear function. Anything linear has a beginning and an end but a sphere does not have a beginning or an end. You got it?
Tell me which is the beginning point of a tennis ball? Is it easy to know where does the tennis ball begin? You answer this then I will answer your question.
Simple thing I am asking you, show me the beginning point of a tennis ball or a cricket ball.

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