Bury the past and move on!

Bangalore, 19 December 2011

Q: Guruji, I always have confusion between ‘Dvaita’ philosophy and ‘Advaita’ philosophy. Madhvacharya has spoken about ‘Dvaita’ and Adi Shankaracharya has spoken about ‘Advaita’. Please explain both.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Advaita’ is like quantum physics and ‘Dvaita’ is like chemistry.
In chemistry you say there are these many isotopes or you refer a periodic table where they categorize all the different elements.
But if you go to a quantum physicist, he will say, ‘it is all just wave function’.
A periodic table does not exist for a quantum physicist. He says everything is only atoms; wave functions.
Both are right. Chemistry has its utility and physics has its reality.
It is really brilliant what Adi Shankara has said and it is equally very interesting what Madhvacharya has said.
He said, ‘everything exists at their different levels and at that level it is good.’
On a practical note, Madhvacharya emphasised on love and devotion. For love you need two and in devotion you need someone to surrender to; a higher power to surrender to.
So this is a practical thing that Madhvacharya said, ‘surrender all your troubles and difficulties’.
Adi Shankara said, ‘hey! Just wake up and see it is all nothing’.
That is what Lord Buddha also said.

Q: Guruji, in the Bhagavad Gita there is a phrase, ‘sarvarambha-parityagi yo mad-bhaktah sa me priyah’ - one who renounces all beginnings and is not striving for some result is a devotee.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘I am beginning something’, drop this.
‘Everything is happening through me’, one who realized this is a devotee (bhakta).
A devotee understands that, ‘I am not doing anything, but through me it is being done.’
One who is in this witness consciousness is a devotee and this devotee is dear to me.

Q: Guruji, I get deeply troubled when I look at an elderly person's body. I realize that aging is inevitable, but it bothers me all the same. What can I do about it?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When the beauty inside blossoms, the older you get, the more beautiful you look.
Sacrifice, love and service, these three things should be present in life.
Look at Mahatma Gandhi, did he not become more attractive as he grew older. His smile was so nice and he had beauty even in his old age. So beauty is reflected from within, it is not an outer phenomenon.

Read more at What Sri Sri Said Today
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