One day death is going to rob you of everything

Germany , 28 December 2011

Q: Dear Guruji, a lot of times I have hurt myself because of lack of knowledge. I have not improved much but at least I see what I have done. How do I stop torturing myself?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you know what you did in the past was not correct, then you already know what you should do. Spiritual path gives you the empowerment.
But if you say, ‘Oh! I can’t do that’, then you can’t do it.
If you put this thought, ’yes, I can!’, then you can.
I have heard people say, ’I can’t leave smoking.’ If you can’t leave smoking then nobody in the world can make you leave smoking. You should get up and say, ‘yes, I will leave smoking.’
Nature has kept that will power in every human being who can think and who can act. It is present in everybody. It is like you shutting your eyes and saying, ‘I can’t see, I can’t see.’
You first open your eyes!
You say, ‘I can’t open my eyes.’ If you can’t open your eyes or don’t open your eyes, how will you see?
If you say, ‘I am hungry but I won’t open my mouth.’ Nature has given you a mouth and it is hollow and empty, and nature has given you food. You have to connect these two things.
Food is in front of you and you say, ‘I won’t open my mouth.’ Even to say that you have to open your mouth.
So, the will power is in everyone. You have to say, ’Yes I can do it; I am going to do it.’
If you are in the bad habit of smoking say, ‘Yes, I am going to leave it. I can do it.’ Because that one thought, ’I can’t leave smoking’, is giving you power to keep smoking.

Q: Dear Guruji, I feel surprised when I see some people go back to fighting and blaming each other after coming out from an advanced course session. Why does it happen? Why does the message not go beyond, even after a course sometimes?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now see, a long habit of fighting, and enjoying the fighting, takes a longer time to go.
There are a small percentage of people whose behavior cannot be changed overnight, or cannot be changed even in weeks or months. It would take them a while provided they also have the willingness to change.
So, don’t judge people, ‘Oh! They came and did the silence program, they did the advanced course and still they have not changed!’ This is impossible, definitely they have changed, but it may not have come totally in their expressions.
Ask them how they feel; ’before you used to fight and now also you fight. Do you find a qualitative difference?’ You will find the answer in the affirmative. They will say, ‘Yes! Before I used to fight and the anger, the impression used to linger on in me. Now, I fight and I forget. I move on.’
This many people have said. This gives you a chance to accept people as they are, before or after.

Q: Dear Guruji, this question has two parts. The first part is: what is the connection between mind and soul? Is mind just a collection of thoughts?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Correct. You said it right.

Q: Where do thoughts arise from in the first place?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is for you to discover. It is an individual discovery.
It is like asking me how the food tastes.
If you ask someone, ‘how sweet is this dish?’, you have to taste it.
So, if you want to know where the thoughts arise, you better discover it. Thoughts are arising in you? So, you can discover it. The very process of discovery is a technique to understand another level of existence.

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