Trust in the goodness of people around

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
See life from a bigger picture. How many of you think that you are going to be here forever?
How many of you are thinking that you are going to be here for the next thirty years, raise your hands. How many of you are thinking that you are going to be here for more than fifty years, raise your hands. And how many of you are going to be here for the next hundred years?
We don’t see life from a bigger perspective. My dear, you are not going to be here forever, just remember. But all of this is going to be there, Malaysia will be there, Kuala Lumpur will be there, but you won’t be here. This was here even before you.
You will be here for the next thirty to forty years, then what, where will you be? What is life? Who are you? These questions should arise in you and when they do, that shows that our intellect is maturing. Are you with me? Do all of you agree with what I am saying?
So when we see life from a broader perspective then small, insignificant things fall off, all that little quarrel, worries, what that person said, what this person said, it all falls away.
So what if somebody insulted you; so what! The person who has insulted you will no longer be here. Everybody will pack-up; they won’t even pack up, they will simply go. There is nothing to pack here.
On your journey you at least have to pack your luggage, but here you will simply disappear one day, that is it. See this temporary phase of life from a broader perspective. When you see life in a broader picture something will shift from within you, you will wake up and see, ‘Oh wow, what am I worried for.’

Just turn back and see, ten years back you were worried and you are still here now. Five years back you were worrying over nothing, you are still present now, alive! How much time you have wasted in judgments, worries and in unproductive thinking, yes or no?
Yes, we should learn from our own experiences. How much time we waste in complaining and all our life energy gets drained and diseases come. Blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, etc., all of these are a result of unproductive and negative feeling. So we need to shift this whole cycle. We feel negative, then we see everything negative and then we feel depressed, and once we feel depressed then we feel there is nothing else positive and like this you go into a vicious circle. You need to come out of it and meditation, yoga and pranayama is all about this – How to manage your mind and how to uplift your spirit, and that is really the blessing.

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Let go of the past and move happily into the future

Art of Living International Center, Bangalore
There is not much difference between a flame and life. A flame as well as life needs oxygen to exist. For a flame to exist on a wick, it needs oxygen. Similarly, for life source energy (prana) to exist in the body, oxygen is needed. If a flame is burning and you cover it with a glass container, the flame will burn till there is oxygen. Similarly, if you put a person in a room and close the windows and doors, he will live till there is Oxygen in the room. So, the mind, the soul and the life source energy are similar to the flame.

We think that the mind is in the body. How many people think so? Where is the mind? Within the body? No. This is wrong. The body is inside the mind. So, make your mind so strong that no matter what happens to the body, the light of the mind stays. Mind should remain strong. So, when we meditate, we should accept everything.
But what do we do when we sit in meditation? We keep thinking about removing this, removing that, fixing this, fixing that, and no meditation happens.

We need to remember that we are a fire.
However, some ash has accumulated over the mind. Once you blow the ash away then the fire will rise up and shine brightly.
If there are too many worries in your mind, then just say ‘Hmm’ (with slight force), and all that ash that has accumulated on the mind will be wiped off and you will feel fresh and bright.
Often we sit and worry, ‘Oh, this is not happening’, or, ‘That is not happening’. Life is such! Sometimes what you wish won’t happen; sometimes what you don’t want happens. Never mind. Don’t sit and brood over it. Move on; march ahead remembering that you are fire.

When you know you are fire, nothing can burn you. People say, ‘I am burned out. Oh, I am so tired!’ What burned out? Come on! How can anything burn fire? Move on, knowing that you are fire. Let go of the past and move happily into the future.
And take life in its totality. Some pleasant, some unpleasant experiences – all these things happen and then they go away. Knowing that ‘I have all the blessings, I have the grace, the best will happen to me’, you should move ahead.

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Music heals your emotions

Sahasra Veena Jhenkara, Bangalore
The Veena is the most ancient musical instrument known to mankind. Even to this day, it resonates; it kindles harmony and it unites the spirit.
Today we have 1110 Veena artistes with us, playing in one symphony. This is a feat by itself. The Veena has twenty-four frets, just like the vertebrae in our spine (twenty four vertebrae). It is akin to our human physiology, and when the strings resonate, it touches the heart and uplifts the spirit.

Music is part of every human being. When you are happy, music is very natural; you naturally sing. When you are unhappy, then also music is good because it soothens your heart, heals your emotions and uplifts you. So whether you are happy or unhappy, you cannot get away from music. Music is very meditative and the Veena produces such a meditative music. From sound to silence is the journey of spirituality.

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Education is meant to make us living examples of high standards of ethics

Gyan Vihar University
Honorable Chief Mentor, Vice Chancellor of the University and Members of the faculty, I humbly accept this degree that you have conferred on me.

See, today I received one but I gave away many. This is what education should do. What we receive we should give back to society, and as students you have received so much education here, now see how you can put that into use in life. The trouble in today’s world is not because of lack of education but because education is being misrepresented, misused and misunderstood. We need to clear these three things. Education is meant not to just make us tablets of information but living examples of high standards of ethics.

Education is to make us such strong personalities, which would spread harmony, which would bring progress in the society and spread love and compassion. This is what I strongly believe. So we need to educate ourselves and people around us. Education is to make one a strong personality, a personality which would stand up to criticism and give constructive criticism. A personality which would create friendliness all over, which has humor and a sense of belongingness along with it and this is what the world is looking for today.

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Om is the voice of nature

Raebareli, Uttar Prades
Formalities are like wrapping paper. When we buy something, it is wrapped in paper. Similarly, in life formalities should be given only that much importance. Rest of the time we should sit informally. That is what we call satsang. Satsang means what? Where we can sit with intimacy and belongingness; sit with heart to heart connection – that is satsang.

It is only through belongingness that the disinterestedness towards life can be overcome; once disinterestedness takes over life, all kinds of distortions follow. Dullness and disinterestedness is the cause of all desires and imperfections in life.
If you take a look at your own life; let us say you were to live for fifty years, sixty years or seventy years – how do we spend these seventy years? Make an estimate of the time.
If you have a life of seventy years, 10% of it we spend in bathing and washing. Suppose we spend two hours every day in bathing, using the toilet – that means out of seventy years you spend 7 years in the bathroom! Isn’t it shocking! In the same way, 7 years are spent in eating and drinking. If we live in a city like Delhi or Mumbai, we spend 15 years in a traffic jam. And in sleep, we spend half the time - that is 25 to 30 years we spend sleeping. So what else is left? If you actually calculate, you will see that in life we hardly spend 3 to 4 years being happy, joyful, laughing and playing freely. So we truly live life only for these 3 years. Rest of the time we just keep preparing to live life. It is like we kept making the bed all through the night, spreading the bed sheet and the blanket – by then it was morning; there was no time left to sleep.
We spend our entire life preparing to be happy and comfortable, but we are never happy. This is the situation. And if you ask, ‘Why, what are you doing?’
‘Earning money’ is the answer.
‘For whom?’
‘For the children and for their children; grandsons and granddaughters.’
The whole life was spent in earning money for the coming four generations, and there was neither happiness nor any joy, nor any connection with God. Is this what is called life?
All our life we earn money, put it in the bank, and then we die and the children keep fighting over it, filing court cases. No one files a court case over their own earnings. All court cases going on currently are over ancestral property. So we create conflict amongst the children.
This is not life.

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The art of embracing everyone is in the Indian DNA

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Faith is very important in life. There are three kinds of faith or three levels of faith: First is faith in oneself, i.e., self-confidence. Second is the faith that there are good people in the society, faith in the rules of the society. And the third and the most important kind of faith which seems difficult, but it is very easy, is the Faith in the Divine power.
That Divine power is there in all of us. It is not like it was there at some time and today it is not there that is not so; that at one time it was present in prophets, saints, mahaatmas, avataars (incarnation) but is not there now, no! It is still there, it is present now – within us there is a light (noor).

This is my only reason to come here - to remind all of you of that divine light which is in all of us, all the time, and no matter how much our parents love us, its love and connection with us is one hundred-fold stronger. I have come here to just awaken this faith in you. And I am ready to sign any bond paper for this, if you ask me to.
Sit peacefully for a while. For some time, separate your mind from the thoughts, from the world and its affairs and look within – a light will appear – wow!!
You will feel – This is what I was in search of, all my life. It was this that everyone spoke of, sang about and believed in, and it is within me!
You will feel goose bumps all over your body knowing this truth – The lord of the universe who is so adorable, is sitting inside me. This experience will come. That is it! After that no power in this world can take away the smile from your face. Such joy will emerge from within you that everything else then seems childish. All these fights in the name of caste and religion will seem like a play!

So, even if an iota of this third kind of faith arises in us, our life takes a major turnaround. We don’t feel anything lacking, everyone belongs to us. I have traveled across 152 countries so far but I never felt like a stranger anywhere. Neither did people there look at me as a stranger and nor did I look at them as someone different from me. The whole world belongs to one Lord, so how can we see each other as strangers when we belong to each other? This happens naturally and easily.

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Awareness towards cleanliness should be imbibed in our culture

Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, March 16, 2012

(Sri Sri shares the sholka 'Annadata Sukhi Bhavah' and encourages all to chant this shloka before we eat food. He says, 'Always eat food with this prayer in mind. It means, may the ones who have given me this food be happy.')

Today I have gotten the opportunity to come here to Azamgarh and be with all of you. I am very happy to be here!
It is our responsibility to ensure that our message is heard by everyone, and wherever it is not being heard, it is our duty to reach out to those people.
Society has deteriorated not because of bad people, but because the good people are keeping quiet. If we care for each other from our heart, then we will have to wake up now.

I keep talking about the four A’s – Agyan (ignorance), Anyaay (injustice), Abhav (shortage) and Asuchi (un-cleanliness). These are four areas that we need to focus on:
First, we need to eradicate ignorance. There should be 100% literacy in UP. Every child must go to school and receive good education, this is very important.
Then, we will have to stand against injustice. Wherever there is injustice done on the basis of caste and religion; we have to stand against it. If somebody is being oppressed, we will have to stand up for them. All of us have to stand up against injustice and corruption.
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Life becomes worth living when we are of use to somebody

Islamabad, Pakistan, March 13, 2012

(Sri Sri visits Pakistan after seven years. Sri Sri reinstates his message of 'One World Family' and embraces the people of Pakistan, 'I feel so nice here; the people are so beautiful and so nice.' 

He added, 'We need to create a new image for the country, that this country is also tolerant, we honor diversity, we acknowledge people from everywhere. This type of message should go out loud and clear.'

Read further on Guruji’s interactions with the people of Pakistan).

It is wonderful being with you all!

First of all let me congratulate all the teachers and volunteers for making this happen.

I would also like give my best wishes and compliments to all those people who worked hard. The YLTP youth who went and reached out to the people of Sindh who were affected by the floods a couple of years ago. I had the chance to speak to them over the phone while the work was happening, but now I would really like to congratulate them. Over a hundred thousand people were reached out to and trauma relief workshops were given, necessary amenities were given and houses were built.

The Art of Living family from around the globe also came forward to help and there was support from all over the world.

So we really demonstrated here that we are not alone, the whole world is our family. I am very glad and happy to see that being practically executed here.

My wish is more and more people become teachers here and see that every tear turns into a smile.

Today, the rate at which depression is rising cancer is increasing, heart problems are increasing, blood pressure is increasing.

Physical illnesses, social conflict, corruption, terrorism, all these ills are indication that somewhere we are missing the spiritual content. Somewhere we are missing that sense of belongingness. So Art of Living is committed to bringing that sense of belongingness into the society and well-being in the physical body, happiness in the mind and the heart and love for all in the soul.

Usually I say violence-free society, disease-free body, stress-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory and sorrow-free soul. This is the birth right of every individual.

You know our intellect is inhibited. Usually people get so many ideas and they inhibit themselves. So we need to free ourselves from inhibitions. And we need to have an ego which encompasses all. Not just ‘I’ but ‘We, the people of this world.’

So, with this vision of a violence-free society and a disease free body, Art of Living on one hand is very happy with whatever work it has done and at the same time it has a huge responsibility to bring peace and happiness to millions more. I am sure you will all do the job.

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Effort and prayer both are essential in life

Udaipur, March 10, 2012

Being human beings, we all have some responsibilities and some needs. If we sit and make a note of our responsibilities and our needs, and if we find that our needs are more than our responsibilities, then life will lead to misery. If we take more responsibilities and have fewer needs, then we will be happy. This is the secret, and it is simple. Today itself, sit and make a note of all your responsibilities and all that you want for yourself.

Now, God has given us an intellect and we need to make use of it. An intelligent person will see and know that when everyone is happy, then he can also be happy. ‘When my family is happy then I can be happy.‘
So what do we need to do? We need to understand our responsibilities. First we need to understand our responsibilities towards our family. Then we need to understand our responsibilities towards society. We need to think how we can be useful to the society, and then what can we do for the entire nation.
We need to think on these three levels, i.e., responsibilities towards family, towards society and towards the nation.
The more responsibilities we take, the more we grow in our abilities and our strength to do work increases.

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A person whose mind is turned outward can never attain God

Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, March 08, 2012

When you go to a shop to buy something, it comes with a package. It is packaged. This packaging is essential, but it is not the substance. It is the substance which is packed.
Similarly, formalities are just a package. It is like a wrapping paper. The real thing is the belongingness. If there isn’t a feeling of oneness, then it cannot be called a satsang or utsav (celebration).
I have travelled around the world and I have noticed that none of the countries have spirituality and celebration connected so deeply as in India. On one hand, they are spiritual while on the other hand they go to parties and are involved in merrymaking. However, in spiritual gatherings, there is no fun or happiness; it is a very serious affair. We do this even in India as well - become very serious, but it should not be like that! Holi is a festival of fun and frolic, of happiness.

Did all of you play Holi? Which Holi did you play? I don’t mean only the Holi where you apply colour on each other. It is a festival where you are coloured in the colours of your soul. The soul has seven colours.
You have given this gathering a very good name- Atmotsav! The celebration of the soul is Atmotsav. Whenever there has been a major celebration in Bengaluru, Bhopal or elsewhere, a lot of people from Ratlam used to attend them and ask me, ‘When will you come to Ratlam?’
See, I have come to Ratlam!

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We need to wipe out ignorance

Indore, March 06, 2012

Whatever I wanted to say Shivraji has already said it all.
Once hearts are connected, there is nothing left to say. Still, I will tell everybody to stay ‘In door’.
There is only a slight difference in English between ‘In door’ – going inward and ‘Indore’.
Antarmukhi sada sukhi’ (the one who goes inward is always happy).
 When the mind goes inward even for a little while, we get such strength.

The respected Chief Minister, Shivraji, just talked about ‘save the girl child movement’. You might have heard me speak about this many times before also. I keep saying this.
Killing a cow is said to be the highest sin. In our scriptures it is said that killing 100 cows is equal to killing one scholar. Killing 100 scholars is equal to killing one saint. And Killing 1000 saints is equal to killing one girl child.
The sin of killing a girl child is equivalent to the killing of 100,000 cows or 1000 saints. Killing that girl child inside the womb itself is not right. We are all educated people, so today take a vow not to kill the girl child. Good!
Just before coming here, while I was giving a talk at the University, I got to know that in Indore, every single day a suicide happens.
I tell you, life is so precious, do not lose it.
Why do you want to lose it? Why do people commit suicide? Just because you got less marks, or your debts went high, or some girl or boy rejected you and your love failed? Leave all these!
You got so disinterested in life that you started committing suicide?
I am telling you come to me and give me all your pain. All your troubles, all your botherations, give them all to me.

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All foolish people are there in the world to make you skillful

Bangalore, March 05, 2012

Q: Dear Guruji, in the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna says, ‘Bow down to me, I will free you. Follow Me!’ and a common man is also caught up in the ‘me’ and ‘mine’! So how is Krishna different from us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
One is the person who is capable of taking the sins saying, ‘You give it to me.’
Another is someone who is incapable of taking anything and saying ‘Me.’
There is a difference.
When a doctor comes and says, ‘You have fever? I will take care of you’. It is a different issue.
But someone who has no knowledge of medicine, if they say, ‘I will take care of you,’ has no meaning.
So the space from which Krishna says, ‘Me’, that me is not the body.
That is why Krishna himself has said, ‘Avajananti Mam Mudha Manusim Tanum Asritam; Param Bhavam Ajananto Mama Bhuta-Maheshvaram’.
The ‘Me’ in me is a very different me, and not knowing that transcendental nature of mine, people think I am just a human body and mind.
So that is the difference.
Even when Arjuna asked Krishna to repeat Bhagvad Gita again after the war was over, he said, ‘No, I cannot. That moment I was in a Samadhi; in a different state of consciousness and so I said it. Now I cannot repeat it.’

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Peace is the first step to equip yourself to face problems

Bangalore, March 04, 2012

Q: What are the different types of Yagya and what is the importance of Yagya in one’s life? Which Yagya is the best?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Dhyan Yagya, Japa Yagya, Dravya Yagya - all these are called Yagya.
So among all these, Dhyan Yagya is best – meditation and group meditation.
Then Gyan Yagya – sitting and listening to knowledge.
Then Japa Yagya – ‘Yagyanaam Japayagyosmi’, Krishna also said Japa Yagya (chanting the name of the Divine) is very good.
And what does Yagya do? It purifies one’s mind, body and environment.

Q: Guruji, my other spiritual friends say that I have not received diksha (initiation) and until I receive that, my journey will not be complete.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Once you did Sudarshan Kriya for the first time know that you already received diksha. And if you have done Sahaj Samadhi, then you have received mantra diksha also.

Q: Guruji, what happens to you in meditation and what should happen to me when I meditate?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
This is the problem. When you read about what happened to someone else in meditation then you sit and expect the same to happen to you and so you will never have meditation. Just sit and do nothing.

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Be contented with whatever comes to you

Bangalore, March 03, 2012

Q: Guruji, please talk about gratitude. You have said that the more gratitude we have the more grace flows into our lives. How do I become more grateful every day?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
First of all drop this more. More devotion, more gratitude, more joy, more happiness, we need to drop this, ‘I want more and more. First you are thinking, ‘I want more money, more joy, more happiness and more pleasure.’ Then you shifted your tendency to wanting more peace, more knowledge, more of this and more of that. As long as you are in the run for more, you are not going to settle. Unless you settle, there is neither peace nor grace. Got it?! So somewhere you should take this whole ‘I want more’ thing and dump it and say ‘okay, that is it! It is said in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘Yadrccha-labha-santusto Dvandvatito Vimatsarah.’ Whatever is coming to you, you should have some level of contentment and with contentment comes gratitude. If you are discontent, how can you be grateful? If you are grumbling, you can’t be grateful, and if you are not grateful, how can there be grace? Do you see what I am saying? It all fits one into another. So now, don’t ask me how can one be more grateful? Just stop complaining! Know that this whole life is like a dream. It is all going to end and everything is going to finish one day. This very awareness will bring a shift in you. ‘This story is going to end someday and the curtains are going to fall’, knowing this suddenly a shift happens from the run to having more to contentment. It will come to that.

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You will have to bear the fruits of your actions

Bangalore, March 02, 2012

Here, in the Ashram today, somebody stole seven sandalwood trees. The trees were cut down and stolen between one and four in the morning from our Veda Pathshala (Vedic school), where the Veda students study. So, the Ashram authorities were very disturbed today about it. Even though there is so much security and so many security guards. Everybody together planted those trees and nurtured them and those trees have been cut from their roots and taken away.
So, what should be done?
Just yesterday in the newspaper there was an article that said the best sandalwood trees are found in Karnataka, and 65% of trading of sandalwood takes place like this, illegally. The sandalwood thieves are real experts. They came to the ashram and cut the trees in such a way that there was not a single sound. So, seven trees have been cut like this yesterday and stolen.

If something has been stolen from your house naturally you will feel sad, isn’t it?
What happens then? You become angry at the thief who is not visible to you, and you don’t know who the thief is. So what happens to your mind when you are angry at someone who is not there in front of you? You get a headache and you feel restless, and you do not feel good.
So I said, theft has been happening since ages.
This is our karma bhoomi (land of actions). We have all come here to perform our karmas. Some do good deeds and depart and some do bad deeds and depart. Everyone departs, but they bear the fruits of their actions. A thief will definitely pay for his actions sometime or the other.

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