Significance of the Guru Discipline Tradition

Bangalore, India
Q: Sometimes I wonder, I have so many unending desires and you keep on fulfilling them. This makes me smile. How to get rid of hankering over desires Gurudev?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know your desires are getting fulfilled, that is enough. Be busy in fulfilling the desires of others, not your own desires.

See, what is the significance of the Guru Discipline Tradition? It is for the Disciple to realize that desires are endless. ‘Like the waves of the ocean desires keep coming one after the other. That is why I must keep my desires aside and do as per the Guru desires. ’
When you do this then the mind becomes hollow and empty and you start feeling a sense of lightness. Life then moves beyond joy and sorrow, and all craving and aversion automatically disappear.
This is the only way to remove cravings and aversions.

That is why it is said, ‘Na Guror Adhikam, Na Guror Adhikam, Na Guror Adhikam’ (There is nothing greater than Guru, there is nothing greater than Guru, there is nothing greater than Guru because Guru is the embodiment of all that is greatest.)

So leave everything on the Guru, and surrender to the Guru.
Fulfillment cannot be achieved through desires because if one desire is fulfilled another one comes, and if that is fulfilled another one comes. And then the mind keeps wandering between desires. Some desire or another will keep troubling your mind day and night.
Do you know, if there is anything in this world that troubles you, the topmost on the list is your own mind!
I am saying topmost because you do not see this. You feel that someone else is bothering you. You think your mother in law is troubling you, or your daughter-in-law is troubling you, or your wife or husband is troubling you. Keep all that as second on the list.
It is your own mind which is troubling you; there is no other enemy out there. Once you realize this you will understand that it is not the other, all the botherations are of the mind.

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A Beautiful India

Bangalore, India
(Sri Sri says looking towards the sky)

See, clouds are already there. It will rain well by the end of this month. If there is unrighteousness and decreased moral values in the country, nature also shows its anger. When all the corrupt people, whom we have made to sit on the top, do injustice to the country, nature also shows its anger.

The farmers of our country are committing suicide. If there is injustice to the farmers, it will result in nature showing its anger. That is why righteousness must increase in people. If the people who rule the country are not righteous, the country will be ruined, the people of the country will be ruined.

This is not something new; this has been going on since ages. In the ancient times, there used to be a Rajguru who used to catch the king’s ears if he did something wrong and cautioned him that it would harm him as well as his subjects. Nowadays, nobody listens. Farmers should not be subjected to injustice.

From today, before you eat your food, say, ‘Annadata Sukhibhava’. Let the farmers who provide us food be happy. Let the merchants who ensure that the food is transported and supplied to us be happy. Thirdly, let the women of the house, who cook and serve food to us, be happy. If these three are happy, the world will be happy.

If the women of the house are happy, there will be happiness at home. If the women of the house cook food with sadness, frustration or anger, the food does not digest properly and it affects the mind too.
If the merchants are happy, they will not cheat or adulterate food. We will get pure and clean food. Also, they will not loot and increase prices exorbitantly.
Since ages, merchants used to do a lot of social service activities, like constructing tanks, temples and Dharmashalas (Righteous schools). If the merchants are not happy and become greedy, it affects the people a lot.
Similarly, farmers must be happy. It is very important.
So, keeping all these three in mind, let us chant the mantra ‘Annadata Sukhibhava’ everyday.

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Love is a happening

Bangalore, India
Q: Dear Gurudev, love, respect and attachment, how are these three connected. How we can we keep these in balance in relationships? 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I think you have too much free time. You should get busy.
Do not sit and worry. Love, respect, all these feelings and emotions remain in you. When your heart and mind are clear, then the right emotions will come at the right time.
Love, respect – all these happen. You cannot make it happen. You cannot make respect come into you. If you make an effort to feel love or respect, it will be a failure. So, all that you can do is free yourself from stress and have wisdom in the mind.
Wisdom is seeing the world from a bigger perspective.

See what is temporary and what is permanent. All the opinions of people are temporary. They come and they go. This you must remember. Do not crave for respect. Some people give respect, some do not, it is fine. It is their choice. But if your life depends on respect from others then you are a weak person. You will feel weakened more and more, and when you are weak, you will be miserable.
You should know that you do not need anybody to respect you. ‘My respect is with me, I do not need anyone to respect me’, that is it.

So when you go back from here, that does not mean you behave disrespectfully. You give respect, but do not expect respect in return.
Sometimes people will not have even a little respect. That is how they are, never mind. If others do not give you respect, never mind. It shows their culture, their evolution.
If you are highly evolved, you will always respect everybody. Whether they are sane or insane, you will respect them. Then you will respect even the insane people because it is in your nature. You see them as a part of this Creation. They belong to the Creation, to Divinity. So when you respect everybody that shows how much wiser you are. Expecting respect shows our weakness and giving respect to people irrespective of who they are or what their standards are shows our wisdom.

Love is a basic substratum of this Creation. It can never disappear. It is always there. Again, give love and it will come back to you a million times more.

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Honoring Our Ancestors

Bangalore, India
(Many devotees offer Gurudev peacock feathers to which he says)

I want to know if these are these plucked from peacocks or does it fall down naturally and people pick it? If they pluck it then don't bring these at all. We shouldn't encourage people to pluck from peacocks. I don't know if this naturally falls or people pluck it.
(Audience: they pluck it Gurudev) Then you shouldn't bring this at all. Do not buy it at all because if you keep buying it they may kill even more of the peacocks. No one should buy this.
We will put instructions everywhere that no one should buy peacock feathers because that can create greed in some people to pluck them forcefully from the peacocks.
What do you say? Agreed!
This is a new trend that has started. You should stop buying these.
Very good decision we made today!

Q: Gurudev, I want to dance with you?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My spirit is always dancing.

Q: Gurudev, can the Guru change the karma of a person, and when does that happen?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If a Guru alone could change the karma of a person then he would have changed the karma of everybody in one stroke.
No, you have to do some effort as well.
Guru can definitely relieve you of your sins. When you commit a sin and you realize that you made a mistake, you cannot relieve yourself of sin, but the Guru can definitely do it for you. So in that sense, yes!
At the same time, you have to do Purusharth (self-effort). You need to do some good work. And the sense of love and devotion is equally proportionate to the amount of karma that gets released.

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The significance of Gayatri Mantra

Bangalore, India
Adi Shankaracharyaji, after having given all the knowledge he had to give he says one last thing, ‘O Shiva! You are me and I am You – Shivoham! ’ (Shivoham – I am Shiva).

Atmatvam – The Atman (Soul) is Shiva, and Girijimatih – Our buddhi (intellect) is the manifestation of Mother Divine (Devi). And intellect is of three types: Sattvik, Rajasik and Tamasik; which means that the intellect can be predominantly ruled by Satoguna, Rajoguna or Tamoguna.
So in essence – ‘I am Shiva and my intellect is Sati (Mother Divine) Herself’. And life depends on how our intellect (mati) is.
If the intellect is Tamasik then it becomes Kali (a violent form of the Mother Divine) and takes hold over Shiva (here, the soul) and works towards destroying everything.
If the intellect is Sattvik then it takes the form of Saraswati (the form of the Mother Divine associated with knowledge and wisdom); and if the intellect is Rajasik then it is Lakshmi (the form of the Mother Divine associated with wealth and prosperity).
So, as is the intellect so are the actions (Jaisa mati vaisa gati). As the nature of our intellect, so are our actions.

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Raksha Bandhan

Bangalore, India
Today is Full Moon – Shravan Purnima. The previous Full Moon was Guru Purnima, dedicated to the masters and teachers. Previous to that was Buddha Purnima and the one before that was Chaitra Purnima.

So this fourth Full Moon is called Shravan Purnima and this Full Moon is dedicated to the brother and sister relationship – Raksha Bandhan.
Today is also the day that the Janeu (sacred thread) is changed. The significance of changing the thread is to remind you that you have three responsibilities or debts on your shoulders – responsibility towards your parents, responsibility towards society and responsibility towards knowledge.
These are the three responsibilities or debts that we have. We are indebted to our parents, we are indebted to the society and we are indebted towards the Guru; the knowledge. So we have these three debts and the Janeu reminds us of these three responsibilities.

When we say debt, we think of it as some loan that we have taken that we need to give back. But we should understand it as a responsibility. The meaning of debt in this case is what? Responsibility! It is reviewing your responsibility towards the previous generation, towards the coming generation and towards the present generation. And that is why you put the three layers of thread on your shoulder (Janeu).
That is the significance – let me keep my body pure, my mind pure and my speech pure; Purity in body, mind and speech. And when there is a thread hanging around you, you remember every day, ‘Oh I have these responsibilities.’ In ancient days women also had to wear this thread. It was not limited to only one caste or another caste. Everybody used to have to wear this whether they were Brahmans, Vaishya, Kshatriya, Shudra; but later on it got confined to a few.
Responsibility is for everybody.

Now, when one gets married they get six layers – three layers of oneself and three of the wife’s also. Actually wives should also have it but men take it on themselves. This is a male dominated society; they made this big mistake. Women also had this in ancient days – the ceremony of taking responsibility. But now after marriage the man takes responsibility for his wife’s side as well.

So, on Raksha Bandhan you tie the Rakhi, what we call as friendship band. This term was recently coined in English, but from ancient times Raksha Bandhan has been there. It is the bond of protection where the sister protects her brother.
So Raksha Bandhan is a festival here where all the sisters go and tie the Rakhi on their brothers. And it does not have to be only their biological brother, in fact they start tying it to everybody and everybody are their brothers. So this has been very prevalent in this country and it is a big festival on Shravan Purnima.

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