A goal is needed in life

Bangalore, India
Q: How was God born?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If he was born, he is no God. God is one who was never born and never dies.

Q: My son has undergone many courses, but he is not ready to change. He does not do the Kriya even after repeatedly telling him. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it is a little difficult to reform children during teenage. Have patience. It cannot be said that there is no change at all. After doing all these courses, there would surely be some change in him.

Q: After organizing Art Excel and YES course for children, we are getting complaints from parents that their children are not practicing what they have been taught. How do we address this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Follow-up sessions are needed frequently. Make them play games. Put in all possible efforts from your side. Once you sow a seed, don’t you check if the seed is growing properly?

Q: Can miracles happen against the laws of nature?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes. A lot of them happen. Many people have experienced such miracles in their.

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Consider your life itself as your sadhana

Bangalore, India
Q: Guruji, in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, ‘My birth (janam) and actions (karm) are both Divine.’ Please elaborate on this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, when you acquire self-knowledge, then you feel that your birth and your actions are both Divine. This understanding comes to you.
Once discipline and morals are established in you, then you just cannot commit mistakes. Not a single bad word comes out from your mouth. There is no hate or ill feelings in your heart towards anyone. It just cannot happen because everyone feels part of you; like your very own. This is the pinnacle of Love.
It is a state of love where you have no negative thoughts in your heart for anybody. When this knowledge, this consciousness gets firmly established in you, then you experience the self in time. This is what is said in the Gita, ‘Tat Swayam Yoga Samsiddhaha Kalen Atmani Vindathi.’
See, in life, you need to understand just this much – whatever I am doing and whatever I have done has been inspired by the Divine. And these acts are surrendered to the Divine.
First of all, you must feel that you are surrendered to the Divine then you can see effortlessness even in your wrong doings.
This does not mean that you overlook your wrong doings or shortcomings. If we have done something wrong, committed some mistake due to some craving or desire, then you will also have to find a solution for that and take some corrective measures. As you keep doing this, a stage will come when you will achieve that state of love, and you feel that everything is inspired by the Divine.

Q: Guruji, how do I know you – the Guru, beyond the body? How do I understand the Guru? My understanding feels very small for this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you realize that your understanding is beginning to fall short that itself is enough. Just relax and repose in yourself.
This is what love is. Love means what? Abheda - I am not different from him and he is not different me.
See, when someone abuses a child, what does the father say? ‘If you have abused my child, it means you have abused me.’
Or if you abuse someone’s mother or father, what will the child say? They will say, ‘Abusing my parents is the same as abusing me.’ They will protest, isn’t it? That means there is unity. Where there is belongingness, a feeling of unity, that is a sign of love.

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Faith is the petrol in the vehicle of life

Bangalore, India
Q: Dear Guruji, I have become free from materialistic things, desires and feverishness to a great extent, but when it comes to you, my thirst keeps increasing. What is the solution for this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is okay. When one withdraws from the materialistic world, and moves towards the self, this is what happens. It brings some essence in life and life is not dull. The path is not dull. And there should be some essence (ras) in life, isn’t it? Otherwise it would be Sushka Vairagya, dry renunciation.
When we have someone that is very dear to us, whom we love very much, then life becomes interesting. If there is no one in our life whom we can love dearly then life will not be interesting, it won’t have any juice in it. And love will not dawn.
That is why this essence or juice (ras) is needed. And then that one appears everywhere. Gradually, you realize that the same Divinity is present in me, in everyone and everywhere.

Q: Guruji, how do we be in ‘Sakshi Bhaav’ (witness consciousness)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You don’t need to do anything to be in witness consciousness; it dawns on its own. The more peaceful you become, the more you repose in yourself the more it dawns on you. You don’t have to do anything to attain this.
Nowadays what has happened, all sadhaks (seekers) keep asking (the Guru): ‘What should I do? What should I do?’, and the Gurus keeps saying, ‘Do this and do this and do that’, and both get frustrated. I say, there is no need to do anything, just relax! Relaxation is the mother (janani) of capability, peace and perfection. The root of everything is vishram (relaxation). There is ‘Ram’ in ‘Vishram’. It is not attained by too much action. This does not mean that you just eat and sleep the whole day, no! Mit-Ahaar (moderation in diet), Mit-Vyavhaar (moderation in conduct), Mit-Bhaashi (moderation in speech), Hit-Bhaashi (beneficial speech) all these are vital.

Q: Guruji, is life easy or difficult?
In Buddhism, they say, ‘The first truth is that life is difficult’, and you say that life is joy. Which one is true? Don’t tell me that both are right.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why? I will say that only! Both statements are true. When a sad person feels that life is sorrow, if you tell him that life is joy, he will not be able to understand. He will only be able to understand that there is sorrow in life.
However, as he progress in knowledge, then he starts to realize, ‘Where is sorrow?’ Sorrow disappears as he progresses on the path of knowledge. The benefit of yoga and meditation is that it removes sorrow from your life. Then you realize the truth, that life is joy and you were unnecessarily worried.
Whenever you have been worried in the past, wake up and see, you will realize that you were worried unnecessarily. How many of you have felt like this?

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Enlightenment is present in you as a seed

Bangalore, India
What we need to understand is that we should know that we already have what we want in life. You start with this intention, ‘I already have what I want’, then what you want will fructify easily. Thinking, ‘I have it’, is like sowing a seed. Once you sow a seed, then you put water and manure and it will sprout and grow. So you know mentally that the seed is there. Same way, whatever you want to achieve in life, know that you are that and you have it. If you think, you don’t have it then only lack grows.

That is the reason why people who have money keep getting more money and those who do not have; they don’t get because they keep saying. ‘I don’t have, I don’t have’. So the mind goes in the direction of lack.

Do you know, whenever things were not there at home or when we would ask for chocolate, my grandmother used to always say, ‘It is in plenty, in abundance, we will go to the shop.’ For someone who listens to it, it appears completely absurd. We never heard her say that we don’t have.

So that ‘lack’ consciousness should go and you should feel the abundance. So whatever goal you want to achieve, first know that you have it, you have achieved it, and then put your effort to achieve it. Effort should be put, but only effort will not work. Before effort, there should be the seed of the goal as well. So, the goal is already present in the seeker. The goal is not somewhere out there and you have to try to reach it, no! Just relax; the goal is here and now. So, Enlightenment is present in you. If you think you lack it, you are never going to achieve it. You should know that it is present in you as a seed. You should know you are already a yogi and keep doing yoga, you will find perfection in it. If you think you are not a yogi and then try to achieve yoga perfection it is not going to work. So know that the seed is already there.

So, if you want to be a businessman, put the seed, ‘I am a businessman’, and then work towards being a businessman. It may appear very absurd. Usually people think, ‘I don’t have and so I have to achieve’, but seldom are they able to do it. The secret of success is in the understanding that goal is already present in the seeker. So, today you got a very big secret knowledge.

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Longing is the sign of the ripening of consciousness

Bangalore, India
Q: Dear Guruji, in the Yogasara Upanishad you have said that the Divine is impersonal. Guru is both, personal and Divine. Can you tell us more about this? How is God impersonal?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it is both. Like you are form yet you are formless. Your body has a form but does your mind have a form? No. Similarly this manifests universe is a form of God and the unmanifest consciousness, space, is also a formless form.

Q: Guruji, you have said in the Upanishads that only when the soul chooses to reveal itself does one get enlightened. So where does longing come in the whole picture. Something in me longs to know itself but will not reveal itself. Why?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you know when the fruit ripens its color also changes. An apple when it becomes ripe its color changes. Like papaya, it becomes yellow color when it is ripe. Like that longing is the sign of the ripening of consciousness.

Q: Guruji the soul is one, then what carries individual karma and takes it from one body to another?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there are two levels of atma, one is Sarvatma and the other is Jivatma. Like inside a balloon also there is air but the air is encapsulated, right? That is Jiva. So the impressions form the Jiva, but the air is the same that is outside or inside the balloon.

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Knowledge turns every nightmare into a sweet dream

Sofia, Bulgaria
Q: Do we create our reality or is everything predetermined?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you have a dog at home?
(Answer: Yes)
See, when you go to the park, you go with a leash on the dog. That is legal. Now, the dog has freedom only for the length of the leash. Correct? It can sit very close to where the leash is, or go as long as the leash is. That much is its freedom. If you have trained a dog to be in one area, that is his freedom. He doesn’t go twenty kilometers away. Similarly, in life, everybody has some freedom, and some things are fixed. Human beings have this freedom because humans have intelligence. The lives of animals are programmed. They never overeat. Their life is aligned with nature, but we have the freedom to align with nature or violate the law. Are you getting what I am saying?
When you align with nature, there is harmony, and when you go against the laws of nature, there is disharmony. So, in life, many things are fixed and a few things are free will.

I will give you another example. When it is raining to get wet or not is your freewill. You can take an umbrella or a rain coat and not get wet. So, life is a combination of freewill and destiny. The more you go deep into meditation, the happier you are, the more you align yourself with nature, the more you will have free-will.

Q: When life ends the world does not end. But when the world ends life ends. Is there an end to this world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you see a tennis ball and ask me where does the ball begin and where does it end, what can I say?
Three things in the world that neither begins nor end.
1. The Divine light or the consciousness has no beginning and no end.
2. Life has no beginning and no end. It is eternal.
3. This Earth, our world has no beginning and no end.
This earth is spherical. It will change its form but it keeps continuing. Don’t worry; the world is not ending, especially in 2012. The world ends only in American movies.

Inside a bad person there is a good person hiding

We are in an age of technology. Technology has shrunk the globe into a village. We are in a global village. I would want to see it as a Global Family. This is my dream, to see the world as a One World Family.
It is so fortunate that this world has so many diverse cultures, traditions, languages and religions. Do you know what intelligent people do? They always celebrate the differences and the diversity. And the foolish fight and create wars.

Isn’t it? What we want to do in the world is to educate people. The reason why people are so ignorant and stupid is because they have had no opportunity to expand their vision. The goal of The Art of Living is to provide such a broad vision to life; to turn every tear into a smile, anger into compassion, and hatred into unconditional love. Let us all join hands to see such a world – a world free from violence, disease, sadness and poverty!

First, we need to dream big. When I was in school, when I was a boy – even now I am a child only – I used to tell all my friends that my family is all over the globe. They would come to my mother and ask if we had a family in London, in Germany, in France, in America, and my mother would reply, ‘No’. She would pull my ear and ask, ‘Why do you tell lies?’
My mother would say, ‘He never tells lies, but this is the one thing he keeps saying, that he has relatives and family all over the world and that he knows people from all over the world.’
I used to tell my friends, ‘What do you want? Stamps or coins or currencies? I will send it to you, don’t worry. I have everybody all over the world.’
Why I said this is that deep inside all of us, there is a spirit that connects everyone.

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Every individual can instill faith or destroy faith

Montreal, Canada
Today’s message is that everyone one of you is a leader.
You lead somebody somewhere. Either lead them on the right path or lead them astray. This is for sure that everyone is a leader. And if you have to lead everyone in the right path your life needs to be very pure, spotless. And that is what is here. Here we are spotlessly clean. Very clear, very pure. And even this is not something we have achieved, it is a gift.

Do you know, these 56 years, I have not said one bad word to anybody, ever. Worst I have said is, ‘Stupid’, that is all that has come out from my mouth. But I can’t take credit for it, because any other words just don’t come to me; unpleasant words don’t come.

So what I am saying is that when you realize that even this purity in life is not your making, it has come to you as a gift then humility remains in life. If there is humility then you are always moving forward. There are no pitfalls. When the humility is missing then a person falls.

So, everybody is a leader. In order to lead on the right path, in right knowledge, you need to be pure; inside out pure. And how do you become pure? When you are in association with purity you become pure. And purity comes with knowledge, wisdom, pranayama, and all that.
What does knowledge do to you? Knowledge simply purifies you. It is like a detergent.
‘Nahi Jnanena sadrusham pavitram iha vidyate’
There is nothing better than knowledge that can purify you.

Every individual is pure in the present moment. However your past has been it does not matter. Dump those thing and surrender. If at all there is the word surrender or offering then that is only about the past. However the past has been, you surrender that. In the present moment you are pure and you are innocent, believe in that. Believe in your purity, and that is it.

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Devotion is like a diamond

Montreal, Canada
Devotion is a gift. You can’t take credit for your own devotion. You can’t say, ‘I’m so devoted’.
You can’t take any credit. If you are so devoted it is a gift; such a blessing.
What does devotion do? Devotion gives you immense happiness, deep love and Siddhis. Siddhi means what you think happens and what you want happens, you bless somebody and it happens; all this happen through that state of your being. Devotion is the state of our being.
In the yoga sutras Rishi Patanlaji said, ‘Samadhi siddhirishwarpranidhanat’, devotion towards the Divine brings perfection of Samadhi. It makes your meditation so serene, and takes you to the perfected state.
So we can never say, ‘Oh I am so devoted’, if you are so devoted it is such a gift. Just pray that let this stay with me forever. Not to let anything else spoil it.

Devotion is like a diamond; don’t trade it for anything that is muddy. A diamond should never be traded for a cup of mud.

Do you know where you tend to lose your devotion? Doing something that is related to temporary things, fighting with somebody, wanting something, like wanting a job, or your relationship doesn’t work then your devotion suffers. You lose your job and your devotion suffers. If somebody blames you then your devotion is gone. If your work does not happen then your devotion is gone. So we are losing our devotion over a few dollars or over small things. A little fight with somebody and you feel all your devotion is gone. Isn’t it?
It is the small things and small little desires where we lose devotion, and it is not worth losing. Isn’t it? See, if you are a medical professional, you give medicine to people, and most of the time it works but sometimes it does not work. It depends on many things. It depends on karma.
Similarly in your life many things happen and some things don’t happen, but at least hold onto the devotion

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A criticism should go with compassion and care

Montreal, Canada
Love is something that you can never get rid of. It is your nature. Either it presents itself in its pure form or it presents itself in a distorted form. Either there is pure love, or pure love gets expressed in a distorted form.
What are the distortions of love? Anger, jealousy, hatred, greed and possessiveness. All these paraphernalia, negative emotions are nothing but love upside down. Even blame is love. Do you see what I’m saying?
If you don’t like somebody, you would simply move away from them. If you keep blaming, that means you really like them. You can’t stay away from them, you can’t get away from them and that is why you keep blaming them.

What is the use of blame? See, you blame someone and if that person is really a culprit, for the first time it will provoke him, but if you keep blaming him, he becomes numb to it; he doesn’t care. Suppose someone is a real thief, and you keep telling him, ‘You are a thief’, you are wasting your time blaming him, because every time you say it, it doesn’t matter to him. It doesn’t touch him at all.
The whole day, you stand on the top of a tower and keep shouting, ‘He is a thief, he is a thief’, so what? A thief will never feel affected by it.

So, a true culprit doesn’t get affected by your blaming him or her. If he is not a culprit, if he is an honest person, really genuine and you blame him, it pierces his heart; it touches his soul, stirs his soul. If that person is a yogi, he will use it for his benefit.

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Being useful is the purpose of your life

Montreal, Canada
In life there are two situations: One is when you are comfortable and happy. Another situation is when you are upset and unhappy. So what is needed to maintain this comfort and happiness is a willingness to do service.
When we are happy then we don’t serve. Usually the mind doesn’t go in the direction. When you are happy you just want to enjoy and don’t think about care, share or service at that time, and that is when it is very much needed. When you are happy and you do service then happiness will remain.
What we need to ask for is the willingness to do seva when we are happy, and the ability to let go and turn inward when we are unhappy. We need to ask for this, ’Give me the strength to let go and turn inward when I am unhappy.’ And learning to let go of the world when we are still here, in it, enjoying it, is wisdom.

Once an elderly lady in one satsang asked a question, ‘Why did God make this world so miserable?’
The answer was, ‘Yes, he has made it like that for you. Even when it is so miserable you don’t let go of it and turn towards God. Otherwise you will never turn inward.’

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You don't need to learn anything

Montreal, Canada
In ancient times, the Kings used to support those who would sit in Samadhi. Their job was to just sit in Samadhi for a few hours every day and create those beautiful vibrations all around. They were called Purohits – those who do good things, beneficial things for the society, for the town. They would chant everyday and sit in Samadhi and create an atmosphere of vibrant positivity. But then later on people forgot all this and now it is completely gone. When can you go into such Samadhi? When you are not craving for anything; when there are no wants left, then Samadhi happens.

Q: Dearest Guruji, this precious tradition of knowledge that we are in, what is the root of it? And how long are we going to continue?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Root of it I don’t know. It is from thousands and thousands of years. It is not five, six, seven or ten thousand, no! It from thousands of years; we don’t know. Nobody knows. Maybe as old as the consciousness.

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Faith comes to play only at time of crisis

Montreal, Canada
This whole creation is made up of one energy. Everything is made up of just one thing.
Whenever anything bothers you, if you come back to this one principle - there is only one energy which everything is made up of, so there are a lot of possibilities; that brings great relief. Are you getting what I’m saying?

There are three types of intellect.
One is an intellect which is dormant or doesn’t function at all; sleepy, in slumber and only into negativity. This is Tamasic Intellect.

Then is Rajasic Intellect. Most people have a rajasic intellect. Everyone functions with a rajasic intellect.
Rajasic intellect means seeing everything as different – This person is different, that person is different, this person behaves that way, that lady behaves this way; dwelling on these differences. Thinking there are so many people, so many personalities, and seeing that as reality. Doing this sometimes you go very high and sometimes you go down. This is rajasic intellect.

Then there is Sattvic Intellect, which is the goal of evolution.
Sattvic intellect sees there is only one thing that is underlying all other differences. That is the reality. There is one underlying truth. That one thing has come up in so many forms.

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Sri Sri on Buddha Purnima

Montreal, Canada
Today is Buddha Purnima, the day Buddha was born. He got Enlightened, he attained Nirvana and he died also on the same day.
Today, it seems the moon is 20% more than other full moon days. It is a very big moon. So you should watch the moon rise.

There is a little Buddha in everybody, and that Buddha is in the form of Siddhartha.
Do you know who Siddhartha is? Before Buddha became Buddha he was Siddhartha. He was wandering, lost. He had tried everything but he couldn’t find; but he had that spirit of enquiry.
He said, ‘The world is all sorrow and I want to get rid of sorrow.’ Siddhartha understood everything is sorrow, but he did not know the way.
So everybody has a little Buddha inside of them, only he has to wake up.

Buddha tried this and that and that and this. He ran from pillar to post, he did technique after technique after technique, but nothing worked. Because while doing all this, his mind was outward, and when he got sick and tired of everything and dropped everything, that moment he got enlightened. This is the story as it goes.
So, when he got tired of trying hard and trying hard and trying hard, then he said, ‘Okay, let me just relax. I give up.’ So he gave up and sat, and the mind turned inward and then he became Buddha.

So turn the mind inward.

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Wherever there is faith miracles do happen

Kiev, Ukraine
We have to spread the joy, the bliss that we have found. More and more people will have to know that there is so much to life. What we know about life is only a little bit. What one has to fathom is a lot. This knowledge is so precious, isn’t it?
See, we think that the mind is inside the body. No, the body is inside the mind. The body is like the wick of a candle. Mind is like the glow all around. The more relaxed you are the more the mind expands and becomes bigger. The more fulfilled and satisfied the mind is, that much bigger and brighter you are.

Q: Guruji, in Kiev, there are bodies of more than a hundred holy men. Can you say something about it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Saint is not the body. Saint is the spirit. Body got formed out of all the vegetables, grains and all the food. It has been there from ages. Every atom of the body belongs to the planet Earth. It comes from it and goes back into it. But the spirit is very important. The spirit is all permeating.

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Ojas – Fluid of Life

Love is offered to you as a child but when you grow up, somewhere you lose it, and then you try to catch it. You have to climb up to get it. Climb up from the smaller things. That is where real love is. So, when you climb up, get over all the cravings and aversions, and when you catch it, nature rejoices.
That is exactly what nature loves. It puts something in front of you and that gets pushed away, and when you try to catch hold of that, the nature rejoices.

The whole message is there in this one incident. See, there are so many professions in the world, then why do you choose one profession? Why do you want to be a doctor or an engineer? Whatever you chose, it does not matter. If you had come to catch that one thing, that would have moved away as well. So, whatever you want to catch, it moves away so that you can go higher. Got it?

When we run behind happiness and joy, we don’t get it in small material things, and it is like that for our good. If you would have got it, you would have stayed there and finished. Life would have been dull. But you don’t get it there so that you can go higher. When you go higher, then you get it.
It is so beautiful.

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