Sri Sri University opens its doors

Bangalore, India
Today we have commenced our University in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
The first batch of students have arrived at the University, and this first batch of students are our pride, because they are the foundation of something that is going to be very big and very great.

The Sri Sri University in Orissa is based on values and universal cooperation.
The best of East and the best of West will be provided to the students in the University, and they will become Global Citizens, and take their skills and their brilliance all over the world.

I congratulate our Vice Chancellor, Dr. Mishra, and the President of our University, Dr. Rao and all others. They have all worked very hard in a short time. They had to make all the logistics even through the rains in Bhubaneswar. They had many challenges and through the challenges they were able to start the University on the committed date. Better facilities will come along as we move on.
I also congratulate all the students; you all have a very bright future ahead of you!
Even before the University started, I had gotten calls from all over the world, with people suggesting how they can associate with the University. And I am very glad that today, on a very auspicious day, we have begun the University. I am sure this first batch of students will be leaders in our fraternity.

Knowledge, personality, economic development, social responsibility and leadership in society, are all what we are expecting from our students. And I am sure that they are going to bring a new hope. They will instill a new hope in the economy when there is economic downtrend, moral degradation, social injustice, poverty and many other challenges.
I do not wish to recount all the challenges that society is facing today. But, I am sure these youths will be well equipped to wipe the tears of millions and bring up the economic growth and prosperity back in the world.

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Three Types of Illusion

Bangalore, India
Q: Dear Gurudev, when we meditate we experience such bliss, how can that state continue with or without meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: With knowledge and with dispassion. When you see the whole world is a dream, the meditative state remains in activity also. But do not make a mood out of it; you should not do mood making. Live life naturally, as everyone else lives; simple, natural. Do not make a big mood out of it, yes!
And do not try to hang on to peace also. If we try to hold onto peace then there are more problems. Do not try to hang on to something, become empty. It is okay if disturbances step in sometimes, so what! Never mind. As long as you know this is the nature of the world.

There is a beautiful couplet in Kannada which says, ‘What can you tell someone who builds a home on the sea shore and is scared of waves. What can you tell someone who has built a home in the forest and is scared of animals. What can you tell someone who built a house in the middle of the town and is afraid of noise.’
Right in the market place he has built a home and he is allergic to noise. What can you tell him? In the same way when we are in this planet, in this world, pleasant things happen and unpleasant things happen. People praise you and for no reason people blame you. You should simply take them on and move ahead.
Isn’t that a very good advice?

Today some people came and told me that such and such person is very rude, he is not good and he has such bad qualities. He loses his temper all the time. Why do you still keep him in the organization?
I told him, ‘No, I give a long rope. Suppose I leave him outside anywhere else in the world, he will do the same thing. You feel now he is disturbing you, but if you send him out of the organization then also he will continue to disturb you. At least here he has a chance to improve.’ Isn’t it?
So I have patience; I say okay, let them be here, let them grow. With patience I allow them to be.

Q: Dear Gurudev, the Bible states that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Does this mean a wealthy person is doomed to hell just for being wealthy?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No!
These words of different Saints and Prophets were given to different people at different times. Jesus says that I have not come to make peace; I have come to put mother against daughter and the son against father. That doesn’t mean he did not like families or he came to split families.

So, what is said is an example given so that people feel compassion. When there is poverty all around and someone is just enjoying too much without doing any kind of service; spending 100 percent of what he earns on himself or herself, then that person has a hard heart, like a rock. When someone is like a rock and there is no suppleness inside of them then heaven is far away. That is the essence of it.

Just now the thought came to me; we should send some 50 Lacs worth of medicine to Assam. We should buy 50 Lacs worth of some Ayurvedic medicines. So everyone contribute a little bit and we can give it to the people there. I am planning to visit Assam soon, so let us see.
As a first step they might need some medicines. We will all do something.
We are so many people, if we all give five hundred each then we can do quite a bit. We can send them medicines. And some Ayurvedic doctors should also go to Assam from here. We will send them to Assam.

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Devotion – A thirst never quenched

Bangalore, India
Q: After a lot of struggle I found you as my Master. In my next birth, I don't want to get lost and then get picked up by a Master. Is there a way out?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a lot to worry about right now. Why are you postponing things for the next lifetime? Right now, here, you have a chance. Become free, become happy and serve, yes!
We will see about the next life later.

Q: Dear Guruji, why do I cry in satsangs and in some of The Art of Living Courses?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you cry? I think you should laugh, isn’t it? Smile!
There is a shloka (verse) in the Upanishad which says, ’Bidhyanti hridaya granthi, Chidyanthe sarva samshayaha. Ksheenatechaasya karmani, Yasmin driste paraavare.’ – (Mandukya Upanishad)
When you see the Beloved, the knots in your heart open and tears come. All doubts and questions vanish from the mind, and all bad karmas vanish. This is what has been said in the Upanishads.
So you don’t know why you are crying, it is because some knot in the heart is getting loosened up; getting opened – this is one thing. And there is s nothing wrong, when the heart blossoms tears come and emotions well up. Gratitude and love are also associated with tears, not only misery. These are called sweet tears.
It is said in the Bhakti Sutras – The angels long for those drops of tears that come out of love. So you are very fortunate to have such tears.
Now if some of you are not getting tears, don’t think that, ‘Oh! I am not fortunate, I can’t cry.’ No, nothing like that! Only if you get tears you are evolved – nothing like that. It is just the makeup of some people. For some there is more emotion, a wider experience of hollow and empty in the mind. Some feel more waves of emotions taking over.
These are different experiences. And at different times people get these different experiences. Not everybody needs to get those.
And that is not a particular sign of any higher evolution. It is one of the signs, but not the only sign.

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What is Art?

Bad Antogast, Germany
Why do you want to talk about darkness?
The whole Universe is enveloped by darkness - Dark Energy and Dark Matter. Scientists today say that what you see today as light is only a spot; it is like a bubble in a water bottle. Light is like a bubble in a water bottle. But the water is the real thing. The bubble is simply what appears. That is not the real thing.
So the Sun, of course we know is the source of energy. But the scientists say that, what keeps the Sun tight and round in shape is the Dark Energy around it. So the Dark Matter and Dark Energy is a million times more powerful than the Sun. Like air bubble inside a water bottle is just air trapped by the pressure of all the water molecules. Now water is heavier and so much more powerful than the air. Similarly the whole Universe is filled with energy which you cannot see and which you don’t know. And you think there is nothing in it.
The black holes, what the scientists call it, can just swallow the Sun. Our Earth, the Sun and our solar system is simply escaping and moving in between huge black holes.
So many black holes are there in the universe, and if the Sun gets even a little close to it then it just sucks the whole Sun, and nobody knows where it disappears. So the whole Universe is filled with that energy which is not seen, that is why it is called Dark Energy or Dark Matter.

Q: What is Art? Where does poetry come from and what does it do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Oh! Anything that you appreciate becomes art.
You see a heap of stones lying somewhere and you think it is just a heap of stones. But if it is arranged a little bit, you start appreciating it. Then it becomes an Art.
On a piece of paper when you start putting or splashing some colors and then start appreciating it as a painting, it becomes an Art. It gives you some meaning, isn’t it?
And for poetry, it comes from a subtle level of the mind. When your breath flows in a particular rhythm, when a particular Nadi or channel in you gets opened, in that particular moment, something comes up and you write. Then the words rhyme. So it is a gift! Imagination is a gift.
It is all how the consciousness expresses itself; how your mind expresses itself. And when you appreciate, it becomes Art.
If you don’t appreciate and just blabber some words then that is not it. See the modern poetry needs certain intelligence to appreciate it.
Have you read modern poetry? Let me read you something.

A leaf ruffles on the ground; Water carries it along.

That is it. (Laughter)

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What happens after death?

Bad Antogast, Germany
Q: Guruji, please give us Gyaan (knowledge)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: For that you have to ask questions. Knowledge means you have to pull it out.

Q: What happens after death?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What happens after death is the mind gets freed from the body, the spirit. The mind has memory and intelligence, so these two things become like a balloon. The karma, the deepest impressions form a balloon. It is like in sleep.
Death is nothing but a long sleep. Before going to sleep, see the last thought that you get, and as soon as you wake up, see what is the first thought that comes. Have you noticed? It will variably be the same though.
So the physical body decays and the pranic body with all the impressions forms a balloon and leaves the body and hangs around.
Don’t imagine a balloon hanging around! It is a light; an energy.

I will give you the best example. In a television station, they conduct a program and then they transmit it through the dish and the program remains in the atmosphere – it is the same way.
When you send an email from the computer, you type all the letters and then you press the send button. What happens? It goes into the space. Does your email remain in the space till it is downloaded? Even after several days you can download your email. Even one year later or ten years later you can download an email. There is no expiry date, isn’t that so. It is not like those greeting cards which sometimes people send you that expire in 24 hours. The messages or letters you send don’t hang as letters in the space, it remains in the space as energy.
Like that every soul is a particular frequency and every thumb is different because a thumb is like a particular cell phone chip.

So after death, every individual energy stays, and the impressions it has taken, accordingly to that it experiences those stages there. But then after sometime that soul comes back.
The soul enters the body at three times – this is all a secret. It is called the birth secret and death secret. So the soul enters at the moment of conception, or it enters in the fifth month, or at the time of birth. So the three sections are there, but there is no way to determine when it enters.
So if at conception time it comes then what one should do to care for that?
Keep yourself happy. Usually pregnant women are kept very happy in India. Whatever she wants is provided to her. I would say, don’t watch all these violent movies, and scary songs, and scary things. Generally light flute music would be good because it is soothing. It is good to listen to music, knowledge and wisdom. All these things would be preferable.
The soul also chooses where to be born, the place to come. According to its wish it will just come there.

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Sri Sri talks about the recently discovered God Particle

Bad Antogast, Germany
The scientists have discovered the God Particle; that is what they are saying – Higgs Boson. And they say that the entire universe is made up of this. It is a field, and this field is energy. It gives shape to the planets, stars and everything.
This sounds so familiar to someone who has studied Vedanta, or someone who has experienced deep meditation. The whole universe is made up of consciousness. It is a play and display of one consciousness. The Vedic Rishis also said the same. They said first know the elements; they called even Brahman, the Ultimate, as a Tattva. Tattva means Principle. Like God Particle, they said Brahman Principle.

What is the first principle? They said the Elements; Earth element, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, and then the Mind, the Intellect – the subtler and subtler you go, you reach there.
Subtler than space is mind, subtler than that is intellect and knowledge is present there. And subtler than that is ego, and hundred times subtler than ego is the Mahat Tattva – The Principle called Mahat, field called Mahat. Ego itself is an atom, but finer than the ego, beyond the ego, that point, that particle is a field called Mahat Tattva, and finer than that is Moola Prakurti – the primordial energy.
And beyond that primordial energy, is Brahman, of which everything is made, which is the substance of the whole creation. Brahman is infinity, it is neither born nor will it ever die.

In the Rig Veda, there is a Sukta called Nasadiya Sukta, in the 10th Mandala, 129th Adhyaya, there, around seven verses are written. In the seven verses of The Hymn of Creation, it is so striking how these aspects which we now know through quantum mechanics and through quantum physics were present then and there.
What scientists call as Dark Matter and Dark Energy which is everywhere, and which is what we are talking about, the Nasadiya Sukta says the same thing.

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Be Open Minded

Bad Antogast, Germany
Q: Dear Guruji, what is the real meaning and importance of Rudra Pooja? And what happens to the people or the place?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Rudrabhishek is an ancient chanting which was downloaded from the Aakasha (space). When the ancient sages and Rishis sat in meditation, they heard, and what they heard, they started transferring to other people. The effect of Rudrabhishek is it creates positive energy and removes negative vibes. And a lot is said about the Rudrabhishek. When Rudrabishek happens nature flourishes, nature becomes joyful, happy.
Main thing is the vibration, that is it. If you ask me, ’Do you know the meaning of all the chants? I will say, ’I also don’t know.’ It’s the vibration of the chants that is important and then the meaning.
There are two parts, the first part says, ’Namo, namo, namo, namo!’
Mana, means mind. The word mind in English comes from Sanskrit word Mana.
Nama is the reverse of the mind. The mind going to its source is called Nama.
When the mind goes outside to experience the world, it is Mana. So Nama. is the mind going back to its source. When it goes to its source, what does it find? Everything is made up of one consciousness.
Now, what do the scientists today say? God Particle – by which everything has been made. Thousands of years ago the Rishis said the same thing, that everything is made up of one thing, and that they called Brahman. – that which is neither male nor female. It is nothing but a Tattva. Tattva means principle. A great principle by which everything is made of, they called it Bramhan. And when that Bramhan becomes personal, it is called Shiva Tattva – the innocent Divinity; that is in everything. That is why we say, ‘Namo, namo!’
In the trees, in the greenery, in the birds, even in the thieves, and in a dacoit,

Then, the second part will say, ‘Chame, chame, chame, chame.’ You have heard this, isn’t it?! This means, everything is in Me.
‘Me’ in English comes from the Sanskrit word ’ Ma’, which means Myself.
‘Ma Ma’ means ’ For Me’, ‘In Me’. So, everything is in terms of ; myself;. The second part is everything is for me and everything is in terms of me.
Even for numbers they say, ‘Ekaachame’, which means, one, two, three, four, they are all my form; Myself. Like that, ‘Sugamchame’, happiness for me!
‘Abhayanchame’, fearlessness, happiness, health, all the good things in the universe, let them all come to me, and they are all part of me. That is it.

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Everyone is nothing but a reflection of you

Bad Antogast, Germany 1130
Q: Guruji, how can I free myself from thoughts, emotions and feelings and how can I get detached from all relationships?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want to detach yourself from relationship? Because it gives you pain, isn’t it. Why does it give pain? Because you do not have a broad vision of life.
All relationships are for a few days, few months, few years, but life is much bigger, so instead of trying to detach yourself from relationships, what is best for you to do is expand your awareness.
Listen to more of Ashtavakra Gita knowledge, not just once, again and again, and keep your thoughts on the Brahman, on the infinity, on the great energy; everything is part of it, everybody is a manifestation of it. That is why that is called Brahmacharya.
‘Brahma’ means the infinity, ’Charya’ means moving into it – having your mind moving into the Divinity. Not focused on limited – that man said this, this lady said this, this is that, and all that little mindedness. Always trying to pick on others and then you get into craving and aversion, aversion and craving, and this goes on forever.
So expand your vision, be more in the spiritual knowledge, know that everybody, every human being is like a bubble in the water. How long do they stay?
Clouds in the sky, how long do they stay? Know that everything is temporary, ephemeral.

Q: Guruji, I am confused, in Hare Krishna movement they say surrender to Krishna and the process will take you to the spiritual world. You say, ‘Surrender to me and let go of all your problems.’
So what is the process in Art of Living to get back to the spiritual world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is it!
And Krishna also said, ‘Those who see me in everything and in everybody, and everybody in me are the most intelligent.’ Why did you forget that?!
And He also said, ‘I will keep coming in every age’, right!

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Sri Sri's Message on Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima is celebrating and honoring the Guru Tattva
Ishwaro Gururatmeti Murti bheda Vibhagine, Vyomavad vyapta dehaya Dakshinamurataye namah.
(There is no difference between the Guru, Self and God. Obeisance to Lord Dakshinamurthy who is the personification of the Supreme Self that permeates through Space)

There is no difference between Guru, Self, and Divine. These three are One – your Soul, the Guru Tattva and God. And all these three are not the (physical) body. What is their body like? It is like the sky.

‘Vyomavad vyapta dehaya’ (Vyom = Space, Deha = Body, vyapta = to permeate).

You are not the body, you are the Soul, and the form of the Soul is like that of Space. The same is true for the Guru as well. Don’t think of the Guru as the limited physical body. The Guru is the field, the energy which is all permeating; so is the Self. And honoring the Guru is honoring your own Self.

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Truth is contradictory

Boone, North Carolina
Q: Dear Guruji, do you really like being a Guru? And do you read all our botherations or do you have helpers?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are helpers (smiles mischievously). Do you feel free of your botherations? How many of you feel free from your botherations? (Many raise hands in the audience).
Look at that!

Q: What do you think of politics? Do you think people should get involved in politics?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What is politics? Caring for people, isn’t it? Politics means one who stands up for the people, one who cares for people. People who are caring should be in politics. Not the ones who are selfish, but the ones who care, yes!
Unfortunately, of late, that is not the case with many. People come to politics just to enjoy some power, not to empower people, not to serve people. So it is good if you have an intention to serve the society, and if that is your cup of tea, then you should do it. But if you are a businessman and your tendency is to do business, you should not get into politics. It is the same with a philosopher or a doctor. See your aptitude.
If you have a big vision for the people, the country, or the world, then I would encourage you to get into politics. Especially the younger generation should get involved in politics.

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The right thing will come at the right time

Boone, North Carolina
Q: What to do with unfulfilled desires? The lifelong desire of prosperity in relationships goes unfulfilled. As time passes I feel frustrated, regretful, and my energy sapped. How do I manifest these desires and let them go?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You say it is a lifelong desire. Is it really a lifelong desire? Did you have the same desire when you were a kid, or when you were a teenager?
Just take a look at it. Is the desire worth all the effort and time you are putting into it? Or can your life be very useful in some other way? These are a few things that you need to ponder upon. As your energy builds up, let go and you will find that desires just happen. The more you hang onto them, the more you hold on and crave for it, the longer it takes. That is a fact.

Q: Dear Guruji, I know that you love me, but I don't love myself. I wish I was more comfortable within myself and with others around me. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are doing the right thing; Advanced Meditation Course. That is the first thing we do in the course, praise yourself and praise your partner. Didn’t you do that? Do that sincerely. Don't think that this is just another exercise and they are just asking me to praise, no! Do it seriously. Some of these exercises may appear silly to you on some level, but on another level they really have some impact on our consciousness and our subconscious mind.
Stop blaming yourself - this is the first law of spirituality. The more you blame, the more you will be away from you own spirit. So you should stop blaming yourself and recognize the good qualities that you have. Continue doing this and it will happen.
Sometimes these patterns, these old habits take a longer time to ease out. As you become aware, ‘I have to stop blaming myself’, then suddenly your energy goes up. And do pranayama, it definitely helps. When energy is higher, there is no way that you will continue to blame yourself, that is not possible.

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