How does one overcome suffering?

If you know that your pain is just momentary, you don’t mind the pain. 
You go to doctor and he gives you a prick. You don’t mind the pain. You are doing exercise with dumbbells and it pains. You enjoy that pain.
Why you don’t like suffering is because in suffering you feel, "Oh, this is death!" You associate death with suffering. That is why there is fear. Just simple pain doesn’t give you suffering. You willingly undergo many pains.
By understanding this, layer by layer, going scientifically into it you can observe that you pay more attention to your mind than to the senses, to your intellect more than the mind and to the ego more than your mind. 
For example someone saying some words to somebody else doesn’t bother you. But if they said that to you then you get upset. If you go beyond that and see, it is just their opinion. If someone passes a derogatory remark on you, how do you see it beyond the ego? With compassion, “Ok, they are saying something because they are upset.” Then you don’t get hurt. When someone calls the person next to you stupid, you see it as a witness but when he does the same to you, there is a difference.
Do you see the difference? If you can see that also from the same angle, as though they are fighting with somebody else, then you see it beyond ego. Then you say, “He must be tired, stressed out”; instead of taking it as a personal attack on you, you will see the state of mind, intention or consciousness behind the action.
Suffering has a purpose, which is to connect you to your self. Suffering indicates that you got too involved and carried away by all the relative and transient things around you. That is what suffering is all about.
Once you know that suffering is transient your eyes get lifted to something that is eternal. That is when real joy dawns in life.

On the occasion of my birthday...

In temples, deities are covered with so many garlands (that people offer), but all that the divine really wants is a smile from you; that should be the flower you offer.
Today (May 13), you are celebrating my birthday. So, as the birthday boy, I have the right to ask for a gift from you. I can ask, right? (Everyone is the audience cheers and says ‘Yes’)
If you don’t give me a gift, then there is no point in you celebrating my birthday. Celebrations have to go with gifts. So, will you all give me a gift?
If you hate anybody, drop that today. Do not hate anybody. Even if you have the slightest hatred against anybody in your mind, or any type of prejudice, you should leave it today. Don’t think bad about anyone or for anyone.
All this (events and situations) is the play of one consciousness. We will be able to have a broad vision only when there is no feeling of bitterness for anyone. Just throw away all the bitterness. This is the gift you need to give me. You don't have to bring me sweets. I just want you to have sweetness in your mind for everyone.
In my 61 years, I have not spoken a bad word, nor do I have bitterness against anyone on the planet. If you have any bitterness in your heart or mind for anybody, you have to give it to me as a gift. And once you give it you cannot take it back! This is what is most needed.
This doesn’t mean you have to be goody-goody to people. When you have to be firm, you be firm. When you have to say something, say it but don’t use abusive language, bad words or be bitter. Unpleasant truth is okay, but it should be said without the feeling of bitterness. Your heart should be pure and have the freshness of a flower, and your words have to be sweet.
It is important to say the truth. Sweetness doesn’t imply falsehood and bitterness doesn’t imply being truthful. That’s why our ancestors have said, ‘Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat’, you should say the truth, but in a proper manner.
Just be happy! There is no dearth of anything. You experience this fullness when you go deep in meditation. Just like there is space inside and outside a vessel, similarly our body is like a balloon where the space inside and outside is the same. When this truth comes into one’s experience then you don’t feel separation with anyone, nor will you have any problems.
In life, difficulties come to everyone, but there is something inside you that remains untouched.
This is the truth and this is what consciousness is. When you realize this then you feel complete. This is the biggest strength in life and is also what is called wisdom. The highest realization is ‘I am this!’ and this truth becomes a reality when our hearts are free from bitterness. Keep this thought in your heart that you are complete and you are full!
When you're working in society there are chances of you getting sour and bitter, but when you remember this knowledge, that I am pure, you’ll see that in no time the stress vanishes and those clouds of ignorance wither away leaving you complete. I understand how situations can cause emotional turbulence in you, and for that there is meditation. So, meditate every day and not just once in a while. All the best and blessings!

Multiple layers of meaning

You know, the Upanishads on one level is just a story. On another level it has a very deep meaning. Gau doesn’t just means cow. Gau in Sanskrit means that which moves. Cows of course move, but it is knowledge that moves you to your goal, that nurtures you, and which is also called Gau.
In those days, they used to use cows for transportation. The bullock carts nurture you, and the cow gives you milk and nurtures you, and so cow is also called Gau and knowledge is also called GauOur mind is like a forest, it has so many thoughts, so many things. But when knowledge comes in there, then a transformation happens. So the Guru said, “Satyakama, You take this knowledge and go into the forest”. That means, sit and contemplate and remove the cobwebs from your head. It is only wisdom that can remove the doubts, the cobwebs and the uncertainties.
Like this, the story has multiple layers of meaning; this is one such — “I have given you these many cows (this much knowledge), take it into the forest (of your mind and contemplate and multiply your wisdom)”.
Hearing is one thing, but when it becomes your experience, that same wisdom is multiplied, it has become solid. In The Art of Living you hear, ‘Accept people and situations as they are’, or ‘The present moment is inevitable’, but then in life when you are in a situations then this knowledge arrives and it helps you to assimilate.

What are you unhappy for?

What are you unhappy for? What is it that you are unhappy about? You are unhappy about the situations and circumstances around you. You are unhappy about the people around you. Are they going to be there permanently or forever? They are moving and changing. It is all like a flowing river! Wake up and see the person you saw yesterday night is not the same person this morning, this evening or tomorrow. Why are you unhappy about other people? Know they are all like bubbles on the surface of water. They are fleeting; they are moving.
You are unhappy about situations and circumstances. How long are they going to be there, not forever? They all move and change. What else are you unhappy about? The health of your body? How long you can hold onto your body even if it is very healthy? Can you hold on to it forever? One day it is going to drop. If a body gets sick, attend to it, that is all. Getting mentally agitated makes it even worse. It is the nature of the body to be sick and healthy.
In your true nature, you are free the moment you see it’s not in you. If you have a pain, observe it’s happening in the body. If there is tightness or joy in your mind, observe that it is tight, sad, unhappy or happy. Just observe that you are not enjoying, and it is happening elsewhere, as though it is happening elsewhere.
Now trust my words: ‘you are not the doer’. Life is ‘happening’ on this planet. Everything is moving. Your mind is going through ups and downs, sorrows and joys. It has its own ways, its own time.
There’s only one way you can be happy seeing that you are not the doer; that everything is just happening. 
Let it happen. Thinking you are the doer agitates you further, and you become much more restless. Not to do, to undo, is another doing. The desire to do something to get out of it is another ‘doing.’ It’s something like a pond being muddy. You know this, but then start stirring it more. And if you keep stirring, it is bound to become muddier. There is no way it can settle down. When you can feel ‘I am not the doer,’ when this confidence, this faith dawns on you, that is nectar. With that, you will become happy.
Let this fire of awareness, this fire of knowledge burn all that ignorance and destroy your sorrow. Do not be unhappy. There is no need to be unhappy or sad about your body, and the things happening in your mind, about people, situations, events and circumstances around you. Then, what can you be unhappy about? Can you be? Is there any other thing to be unhappy about? Is it? Sukhī bhava ! It is an order as well as a blessing.

Contradictions in the Bhagvad Gita

Truth is contradictory; if it is not contradictory, then it is not truth! The Bhagavad Gita is full of contradictions. You can understand it only if you see it in totality.
At one point, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that action is the most important thing. But after that, He tells him that action is all right but knowledge is better! Then Krishna says, ‘‘You must become a yogi and drop everything around you.’’
Krishna tells Arjuna in Chapter Six that since he is confused, there is no use talking. He asks him to meditate. Finally, He says, ‘‘He is the greatest amongst yogis who keeps me in his heart whether he meditates or not. He is the real yogi, because I am with him in whatever he is doing.’’
At one juncture, Krishna says, ‘‘Arjuna, there is nobody dear to me, nobody whom I love.’’ And then gives a whole list of qualifications for those He really loves!
In another instance, Krishna tells Arjuna to act without looking for the fruit of action. Later, He asks Arjuna to act properly, according to natural law. Then he tells him that he ought to fight if he wants to win the war. So, at this point he is bringing Arjuna’s attention to the fruit of action, but then he also tells him not to worry about the fruit of action.
Krishna was like a dear friend to Arjuna. In the Bhagavatam, except for Vidura and Udhava, nobody even thought he was enlightened; they all thought that he was just very smart. The Pandavas and the gopis knew who Krishna was and how complete He was from all angles. But many of them, including Arjuna, did not see him that way. Krishna, however, shows him that he is infinite.
Krishna tells Arjuna, ‘‘I will give you a special eye of knowledge, which I haven’t given anybody in ages. I am giving it to you now because it is time.’’ With that, He gives him a vision. For that one moment the universe appears as a manifestation of Krishna to Arjuna.
Arjuna sees all of creation, everything – the mountains and the rivers, the past, the present and the future – dissolving in Krishna. For an instant, the whole of life, the universe, all memories play out like a movie and it frightens Arjuna. Then Arjuna pleads, ‘‘Oh! Please show me your simple,  natural and friendly face. I like your simple smile and I want to see my friend. I don’t want to see anything beyond. It is too much for me.’’
This is called Vishva Roopa Darshana – the vision of the universal. Thereafter, Krishna tells Arjuna about the yagyas, principles and laws of the universe. Then He talks about sanyasa and how to be centred. Arjuna tells Krishna that what he says is not easy to follow. Krishna says, ‘‘I agree… It is difficult but not impossible. With practice, dispassion and by getting to the centre again, you will succeed.’’  Krishna tried everything. Finally, it was the display of the universal vision that worked on Arjuna. When Arjuna says, ‘‘I give up,’’ Krishna says, ‘‘Think and do whatever is best for you after pondering over what I have said.” And then Arjuna says his mind is clear now. Krishna had to speak through 18 chapters to get him to that point. He could have done it at the very first chapter. But the way this knowledge flows is really beautiful. Everything may appear to be all contradictory from all angles. But that is reality!

Managing time

Don’t let time manage you. First of all, you must see to it that you go with the feeling that you have time. When you put this thought in your mind that you don’t have time, then that itself becomes a block.

Everybody has only 24 hours, whether it is the Prime Minister or a clerk working in the bank. You have to hold on to this aphorism ‘I can do it’ because the pressure of time is more when you do not feel confident of accomplishing your work. Even when it appears to be impossible, even then you should have confidence; probably give miracles a chance. This very confidence in yourself that ‘I will be able to manage’ will take you through. And once something sets into your routine, then you have no problem.

Everyone takes out time to brush their teeth. This is dental hygiene, isn’t it? However busy you are, you don’t say, “I have to rush to the office” and jump out of your bed, wear your shoes and run. No! You take the time to brush your teeth, that’s dental hygiene. Similarly, I would say, take a few minutes of mental hygiene (meditation). When it fits into your routine, you’ll not find it as something you have to do extra. For 10-20 minutes, relax and do some yoga, exercise, and then you go with a fresh mind.

5 Tips to Get Past the Blame Game

When you get angry or you blame somebody, you feel a heavy load on your head. You feel uncomfortable inside, and you spread unpleasant feelings all around you too. Blaming does not give you anything positive in return. Instead, owning responsibility for all your experiences in life makes you powerful and will put an end to grumbling, planning counter attacks, explanations, and all those host of negative tendencies. Owning full responsibility, you become free.
Here are 5 tips to walk yourself out of the tendency to blame and move towards higher levels of awareness and a more positive way of life.

#1 Blaming is not going to give you anything positive in return

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 or her, but if you keep blaming, 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.
So, a true culprit doesn’t get affected by your blaming him or her. Instead of blaming them, take this opportunity as an exercise for you to maintain your equanimity and your inner balance.
If everything is okay, if everybody is praising you and you say that I am a very balanced person, it doesn’t mean much.

#2 Before blaming someone, analyze your purpose of blaming

You want to correct the person, is that why you are blaming them? Or are you blaming because you want to vent out your emotions? What is your attitude? Why do you want to do it?
If you are just venting out your emotions then that is reflect on your own immaturity and lack of control over your own mind, that all. So, analyze your purpose of blaming someone before putting the blame on them.

#3 Blame reflects lack of communication

If your intention is to correct a person, you cannot correct them by blaming them. You can only correct them with love, compassion and communication. Blame means no communication.
If someone is a real culprit and you want to correct them, you can only do it through communication. And if he or she is not a real culprit, then your whole exercise is futile.

#4 Switch from blame to constructive criticism

Blaming is out of anger, jealousy, hatred and does not work. It does not yield any result. Instead give constructive criticism with compassion. A criticism should go with compassion and care, then it works.

#5 Above all, be patient

If you have patience then you can turn any situation, event or place into heaven. If you lack patience you will make heaven into hell. It’s impatience that destroys situations and the environment. Learn to accept other people’s point of view, and above all, be patient, as no endeavor will be successful without patience.

Happy Buddha Purnima

Buddha Purnima is the day Buddha was born. He got enlightened, he attained nirvana and he died also on this same day. Today the moon seems 20% bigger than other times; it is a very big moon. It is a good occasion to watch the moon rise.
Buddha has left such a permanent mark on the planet for centuries to come, for people to remember the glory of the divinity.

Wake up the little Buddha inside you!

There is a little Buddha in everybody, and that Buddha is in the form of Siddhartha. Do you know who is Siddhartha? Before Buddha became Buddha, he was Siddhartha. He was wandering and lost but he had the spirit of enquiry in his heart.
Siddhartha, at a very young age understood that everything is sorrow. He said, “The world is all sorrow and I want to get rid of sorrow”, but he did not know the way. Everybody has this little Buddha inside of them, the burning spirit of enquiry; one only has to wake up to it.

Buddha’s first words after he got enlightened.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about Lord Buddha’s life.
When Lord Buddha saw the suffering in the world, he said, “Life has no meaning. If you have to become old, and you have to die, then what is the point in living!”
When he encountered a sick man, a dead man and an ascetic. He left his palace and sat in meditation for many years. After he attained enlightenment, for seven days he didn’t say a word. The angels and gods of the subtle world got worried. They said that after a long time a Buddha has come on the planet, why isn’t he speaking anything?
Buddha said, “The people who know, they know, and those who do not know, even by my speaking, will not understand. They are so busy making money, making relationships work, fighting, eating and sleeping that with my telling, nothing will get into their minds”.
All the Gods and angels argued with Buddha saying that there are some people who are on the borderline. If you just tell them, they will get it! There are people who have some idea, and who really want to know, for them you must speak. Then Lord Buddha stated speaking from that day; the seventh day.
On the seventh day, after the full moon, Lord Buddha started speaking and all he said was, “Everything is nothing!”
I want you to immediately experience one thing. Wake up and see till this moment, whatever has happened in your life for the last 30 to 50 years, is it not like a dream? Take your mind forward and backward. Now fast forward it. You’re sitting here, you will go back home, have your dinner and sleep. Tomorrow you will wake up, brush your teeth, get on with your work. The next day will roll, the third day will roll and June will come. Then July, August, September, and the New Year party will happen. It’s all gone! All the days will be gone.
Is it not like a dream? Could this be a dream, you reading these words? How do you know it is reality? It could be a dream! The present could be a dream, question the present. The future is like a dream. If you can manage to shift your attention and see this reality, you will see something above this. There is something above and beyond this, which remains, which is so beautiful. And if you see this, you gain such incredible strength, energy, love and beauty in your life out of it that nothing whatsoever can shake it.
What do you need to do? You need to simply wake up! Turn one switch off (mind), and turn the other one on (intuition). For a moment, wake up and see, this is all a dream, and discard everything. Immediately you get connected to the universal power, to the truth that you are made up of!
When you have to work with people, don’t use this philosophy, i.e., everything is nothing. You will not be able to do your business! However, keep this in mind – everything is nothing. This gives you inner strength, intuitive ability, happiness, contentment, love and compassion.
Happy Buddha Purnima!

What can i do when am unable to forgive or forget?

Then just think about your death, that you are going to die.
Even if you hold on (to the situation), still you will be finished; you will go away from this world. Now, do you want to carry that impression? Come on, wake up!
Life is so short and everybody is like a rag doll. They don’t have a mind of their own. Everyone is like a rag doll, and there is a particular force and energy that is working through everybody. That one Paramakaranakarana is the cause of all causes. The Shiva Tattva is playing, putting different things in different people’s minds. Understand this Advaita knowledge; feel it.
We are all made up of the same substance. All these little minds are there, but the mind is also influenced by a big mind, and according to karma. So, different people act in different ways.
Have you noticed that sometimes, you haven’t done anything wrong to anyone, and still they became your enemies? How many of you have had this experience? Especially people to whom you have done a lot of good to, they become your enemies. You wonder, this person is my best friend, I did so much for him, and this person became my enemy! Isn’t it?
In the same way, there are some people to whom you have not done any special favors, yet they have become your friends, hasn’t this happened? You met someone in the train and then they came out and helped you so much.
So both, friendship and enmity happens with some strange law of karma. That is why friends or enemies are all same, because another power is working through them. Knowing this, relax.
Similarly, when you do good work, there are people who criticize you. There are people who do horrible work, and there are some people praising them as well. You find it so strange.
So, drop them all and relax.

If you had only 10 days left on this planet, what would you be doing?

We have lived today’s life. Be happy today. And tomorrow’s life will begin with the next sunrise. And the next day’s with the next sunrise...
If you only had ten days to live on this planet, what would you want to do? Sit and think what your priorities are. Are you worried about your relationship? In ten days you are going to go away, kick the bucket. Are you worried about your property? Are you worried about your friends and foes? Are you worried about what you are going to eat, your eating preferences? What are your preferences? Ten days to live of your life, and what are you going to do? We keep living as though we will live forever.
We hang onto things as though they will be there forever. We forget the sense of time and life –the flow of life. Isn’t that our only problem?
You are so concerned about your relationship. A girl didn’t smile at you or a boy went with somebody else. What are you worried about? Where will they be? People are burned down with this sense of relationship. People are burned down with things about friends, wasting precious life and time. A friend of yours behaved badly with you and hurt you.
What actually hurts you is your foolishness. Let them behave the way they want! But you want everybody to be on your railway tracks. You have set railway tracks for people, and you want everybody to walk on those tracks. The moment they give you a surprise, you say you never wanted that in your life. How can you get over it? What do you want to get over? Just wake up and look. Neither of you are going to be there long. You will both be under the earth in no time.
You won’t even be able to recognize this body. And if you continue to live like that, nobody will even take your name. Nobody will even know you existed on this planet. Anyway, even if they do, it has no meaning for you, does it? Where are you to begin? You feel that one person did this to you and another person did that. That they did not smile at you, or that they smiled at you. That they said something good. They did this… Where is your freedom? We carry such stupid things with us wherever we go! A doormat can remove the mud from your feet, but if you carry mud in your head, what can remove it?
Contentment is what you need. If people have behaved well with you and been friendly to you, thank them for what they have done for you. Don’t become a burden on them. The whole world needs to understand this; the entire world is burning out for nothing. Every moment put yourself into knowledge. Everybody should be immersed in two or three hours of sevā (service).
If we look for what we do not have, there will be no contentment.  I would like you to be contented  in your mind, in your heart. Don’t have feverishness or craving for it.

Finding Inner Peace

There was one gentleman in Washington who said, "I want to work for world peace".  He had a plank with him and walking around and there was no body behind him.  So someone came and asked him, "Do you think you can really change the world or influence the world?"  

You know what he said? "Whether I will be able to change the world or not is immaterial. I do not want the world to change me. So that’s why I am saying I work for world peace." That high level of thinking, I want my mind to be protected. My mission is to change the world; if not, at least let the world not change me; at least let me stand my ground. I appreciate this attitude.

You know Mahatma Gandhi liked this song of Rabindranath Tagore, which says Ekla Chalo, even if nobody comes, walk alone.  We have been walking alone and fortunately many are walking with us we have huge number of volunteers and well wishes and right intended people have joined this most essential work.  I would not say great work. It is essential work and it has to happen.  Bringing peace to the individual and through the individual, bring peace to the society.
Two things are important.  First find the inner peace.  If you are not peaceful there is no point in you trying to bring it to somebody else. First let’s find our inner peace by enriching our spirituality and by enriching our values.
"Clarity in mind, purity in heart and sincerity in action" is the motto of Art of Living.
It is very important that we find inner peace, for that you need to do meditation.  Do every day 15 to 20 minutes meditation.  We all must do.  It is a must. It is for mental hygiene.  Like dental hygiene, however busy you are you never miss to brush your teeth. Similarly we should make it a point in our daily routine we sit and relax and soak into the inner peace so that we can radiate that inner peace to the world outside.  So wherever we go and whatever we do, we find success for sure.

The art of dealing with terrorism, spiritually

The act which is only destructive and inflicts suffering on both oneself and others is terrorism.In such an act human values are lost in the process of achieving a goal. Some of the factors that lead to terrorism are frustration and desperation in achieving a goal, impulsive action, shortsightedness and confused emotions.
Terrorism can also stem from having a non-verifiable concept of heaven and merit, and a childish concept of God where God favors some and is angry with others, undermining the Divine’s omniscience and omnipotence.
Terrorism induces a psychosis of fear in everyone, and it increases poverty, suffering, and loss of life with no apparent gain. Instead of life-supporting solutions, the terrorist chooses destruction as an answer.
If you criticize without giving a solution, know that it comes from the seed of terrorism. Although there are certain qualities you can appreciate in a terrorist such as fearlessness, commitment to a goal and sacrifice, you must learn from them things that you should never do – valuing ideas and concepts more than life, having a narrow perspective of life and dishonoring life’s diversity.
The remedy for terrorism is to:
  • Inculcate a broader perspective of life.
  • Value life more than race, religion and nationality. Provide education in human values – friendliness, compassion, cooperation, etc.
  • Teach methods to release stress and tension.
  • Cultivate confidence in achieving noble aims by peaceful and nonviolent means.
  • Weed out destructive tendencies with spiritual upliftment.

How do I become more grateful?

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.

There is no dearth of blessings

Everybody asks for blessings. Usually people say, “Guruji, please give me blessings”. Even if someone doesn’t want anything, they need blessings! Whichever Guru you go to, the only words which come out are, “Give me blessings”. And these are mere words tumbling out of your mouth. But how do we obtain blessings? We have not learnt this.
There is no dearth of blessings. You get more blessings than necessary. There is sunlight, a burning blaze of bright light all 12 hours of the day, but your doors and windows are tightly shut. Then, how is it possible for light to enter? If the sun’s light has to reach you, you cannot sit in a dark room and keep chanting on a microphone, “I want sunlight, I want sunlight!” This will not bring the sunlight in. You have to open the doors and windows, so that light may enter on its own.
When you ask for blessings, you should have an honest and clean mind. When you have a truthful mind, that mind becomes capable of receiving and absorbing blessings. When does the mind become truthful? When there is nothing to hide, no dirt in the mind and the mind is open. Blessings should only be asked with an open mind.
If somebody asks, “How are you?”, you answer saying “I am fine”. You, in reality, will not be fine at that point in time. In spite of that, you say, “I am fine, doing very well and on top of the world” and you are boiling inside! When you communicate without hiding anything inside you, with an open and innocent mind, only from this level will you acquire the capability of receiving blessings.
Who am I? This body is only a small window, that is all. I am really the Sun. When the Sun enters the window, does the window itself become the Sun? No. Sun only enters through the window. Moonlight is entering in, but the Moon is very far away. In the same way, I am far away from the body. In spite of being far away, I am still in the body”. This feeling should arise in you again and again. For that you need honesty. This requires practice.
Then, even if you don’t need, blessings will always be showered on you!

A technique from Shiv Sutras to overcome worries!

“Jnandahisthanam matrka” – Shiv Sutra
Translation – Go to the root of knowledge, silence.
Carefully observe and distinguish the different ideas, thoughts or worries that arise in your mind. Then observe one thought, then one sentence and then one word. Then separate that one word into letters and look at each letter carefully. When you do this, your worries will disappear.
Practice this for one week and you will understand that when we hold onto the silence that is in between words, then worries vanish.
When there is no sound or words, there are no worries, because words are the root cause of worry. To transcend them is to reach silence. Move from knowledge to the highest knowledge.
A mantra, a sacred sound, is defined as “manahtrayate iti mantrah” – a mantra is that which, when repeated constantly, clears your mind from worries and protects you. Knowledge is bondage, and it is impossible to gain knowledge without words. We need the help of language to understand what we are worrying or not worrying about. When we separate the words, we will be free from worry. One gets worried by holding onto sentences. Suppose your mind is worried that “My son is unemployed.” Now sit down and break up each of the words in the sentence, like this: M-y s-o-n i-s u-n-e-m-p-l-o-y-e-d. The intensity of the worry becomes less, and if you reduce its intensity, then the mind, which is entangled in a sentence, drops the worry and becomes contemplative. If you meditate and attempt to drive away the worry, it may not work. So take hold of the worry and go for its root by taking apart its words and meaning.

Everything is connected

The Sun affects the planet Earth, so does the Moon. Though the moon only reflects the light of the sun, its energy affects the water, and the mind. This is scientifically proven, which is why when someone goes crazy, they are called lunatics. (The word lunatic is derived from the word ‘lunar’ because the mind is connected to the moon.)
Similarly, there are various energies at play; it is the connection of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Don’t think of it as a connection with the physical planets only, but the cosmic energy is somewhere and somehow related to this planetary position. That is what is discussed in Jyotish Shastra.
The macrocosm and microcosm are inter-linked. For instance, certain vibrations – like the bio-dynamic energy – are related to birds, planets, grains and parts of our body. For example, Saturn's energy is connected with the crow. The vibration of the crow, the planet Saturn, the sesame seed and teeth in the human body are all linked, connected. There must have been tremendous amount of research done on this in the past, and it invites people of the future to find out more.
Similarly, goat, the planet Mars, chick peas and the liver are connected. We know for sure that the liver and chick peas are connected. And we know that for hair, nails and teeth, sesame seeds definitely help. For instance, as per Ayurveda, if you take some gingily (sesame seed) oil and gargle, it helps mouth ulcers, pyorrhoea and other dental issues.
The ancient people have written these things. There seems to be some deep study conducted in the past or it has come from intuitive awareness. This throws a challenge for scientists to conduct studies, and prove or disprove it. If you think it is wrong, you have to disprove it, and if you think it is right, then you need to prove it! Isn’t it interesting how all these are connected – you hair, nail, teeth? Of course, everything is connected to everything else, but some are more direct.
Specific herbs have an effect on specific parts of the body. This Ayurveda Materia Medica was sung in the form of poetry thousands of years ago in the Vedas. It is the only Materia Medica in the world that is in the form of poetry. Hence, practitioners, i.e., Vaidyas, Ayurvedic doctors, found it easy to memorise and learn all about the organs and their impact. It is wonderful listening to these poems, and it is amazing how all of it was in a poetic form. These poems come from deep inside, from an unknown corner of our consciousness, which is why a lot of this knowledge is based on intuition. And something which comes out of intuition is always correct.

Significance of astrology for meditators

In ancient India, the Rishis used to have schools or universities in which they used to train psychics. Psychic means the one who can see into the future.
So, people would stay for twelve or thirteen years and meditate, go deep within and then the master would give them a task. He would say, ‘In 2015, on this particular day, at this particular minute, somebody will be born. Astrologically, you calculate and predict how their life will be.’ 
It involves two things – astrological calculation and an insight into space and time. So, this is what they used to do. However, since these were written by the students, it need not be hundred percent true. Students can make mistakes. They will be seventy to eighty percent correct. They can only give you a possibility, that something may happen.
Once upon a time, a monk from China wanted to meet me. He is known as a very big clairvoyant. Two to three thousand people go to him every day.
He called one of our organizers when I was in Indonesia and he said that he wanted to come and take blessings from me. 
He is a very nice person, a very nice soul. He just came, silently sat for some time, took blessings and went back on the next flight.
One of the devotees, who was very inquisitive said, ‘You should predict and tell us what is going to happen with The Art of Living and Guruji’. 
He said, ‘No, I cannot predict. I cannot predict about someone who is free. I can only predict if the mind is caught up. I cannot predict about one who has no mind’. He said, ‘Where there is no mind, there is only space, I cannot predict. Guruji is just space, I cannot predict him’.
If you are a meditator and if you are on the path of spiritual knowledge, you keep changing your destiny, since you are bringing more positivity into your life. If you chant, meditate and do pranayama, your free will and freedom increases.
You are not bound by certain events in life. For example if your jupiter goes into the eighth house, astrologers may warn you that your mind may go topsy turvy, your faith may be shaken and you will be low on confidence, etc. They also advice you not to take any decisions at this time. So, do your meditation, pranayama, prayers regularly and you can pass that stage. 

Lord Buddha and his Enlightenment

When Lord Buddha got enlightened, he was silent for seven days; he didn’t say a word. All the Gods and the angels got worried that he is not saying anything. They pleaded him to say something, because what he says will benefit people for ages to come.
Lord Buddha came 2,500 years after Lord Krishna, and if he doesn’t say anything, what will happen? One of the Gods, Lord Brahma went to Buddha and said, “Please say something.”
Lord Buddha then said, “Those who know it, you don’t need to tell them. For those who do not know, there is no point in telling them because they are ignorant. Any amount of telling them will not be of any use. They are in the small mind.”
Then the angels told Buddha that there are some who are in the middle; they know a little bit and yet, they don’t know a lot. When they hear you, they can move towards the higher truth. Thus, they convinced Lord Buddha, and then he started speaking. He travelled all over India and spoke for 32 years. His only intention was to bring compassion and inner peace to the people of the world.

Each one of us have a ‘Buddha’ inside of us. Enlightenment is getting in touch with the Buddha inside us.

If you ask me, “Is it possible? Isn’t it too difficult?” The answer is – yes, it is possible and no, it is not too difficult.
The formula is:
1. Having clarity in mind, purity in heart, and sincerity in action.
2. Keeping a smile and doing meditation.
3. Seeing life from a bigger perspective.
We have been on this planet many times; life is much bigger than just a few incidents. We should not let our mind get stuck in events, incidents and people. We have to sail through them all, and then our smile will be stronger. Otherwise, you get one phone call, and all your joy goes away. You cannot afford to be like that. When you expand your mind and shift the context for your life, you become so strong, stable, solid and yet, so soft. Then there is nothing that can shake you.

Tap into the enormous strength within you

Take an oath today – 'Come what may, I am going to be happy! I am not going to lose my smile no matter what happens.'  If you do this, you will see that your life starts taking the direction that you always wanted!
You may have several failures, you may come across several stumbling blocks, you may not be able to be happy every day and all the time, but this very commitment that – I am not going to lose my peace for anything in the world – will bring such enormous strength from within you, that it will start changing the situations around you. 
One very important thing we need is the faith that only the right thing will happen! 
Today, can we all make this commitment (to be happy)? Can we instil the faith within ourselves that only the right thing will happen to me? Once you start on this journey, I tell you, things will fall in place. 

Are we slaves of our mind?

Three things affect our mind - time, the company we keep and the food we eat
Our body changes with time. Time also has an impact on the mind. The state of mind and the feeling also change multiple times throughout a day!
Thought patterns also get affected by time. Winter, summer, spring, all affect the mind differently. Ancient people did an in-depth study about it — how the moon affects the mind, how the moon is moving around in different constellations; how different degrees of the moon has a definite impact on the mind. That’s why they use the words ‘Tara-bal’ and ‘Chandra-bal’. The moon is in one constellation for two and a half days, then it moves to the another constellation. So in two and half days there are changes in the mood of the mind.
Then the question comes – “Are we slaves of our mind?”
I say, “No”, because there is something beyond the mind and that is the intellect. When the intellect is strong it overcomes the impact on the mind. When the intellect is weak, then the emotions overtake the mind.
Now what if the intellect also gets affected? Then there is something beyond the intellect and that is the Self, that is Shiva Tattva. Shiva is the master of the time and that is why he is called ‘Maha-kaala’. So when you take refuge in the Shiva Tattva or higher Self, then the impact of time is minimised, both on the mind and on the body.
So time impacts the mind and time has definite measurements. Similarly the company we keep also affects us. What we hear impacts our mind. The people with whom we are affect us. If we are in good company then it has a good impact on us. If we are in bad company then negative feelings like anger, jealousy, etc., affect us.
Then the third thing that affects the mind is food. Food is secondary, food is not that important. If the first two are okay, then the mind can get over the menace of food.
Those who know time are called Devagya. They know about time. All this is as per the divine will of time. Rule of time is divine and those who know time are called Devagya.
What is above God is Brahma-jnan (knowledge of the self). A Brahma-jnani is much above a Devagya. Being a Brahma-Jnani is being centered in the Self. What I am is what you are, and what everything else is too. This firm experience and faith brings about Brahma-Jnan and then nothing can shake you. Even if it appears that it is shaking, actually it is not, it is making you strong. Brahma-Jnan is bigger than all other Jnan (knowledge). 

If your emotions are shaken, let them be shaken as much as they can be... know, there is nothing called compassion here. In higher knowledge, compassion is stupidity. Why? You can be compassionate only to somebody else, who is not you. Suppose your hand got hurt , you don’t say, I am so compassionate towards my hand. Do you ever say that? When you say that everyone is part of you, where is compassion there? Okay, you got hurt, it’s because of your own foolishness you got hurt. Put some ointment and forget about it.
When you get hurt, it’s your karma. You must have hurt somebody sometime and so you got it back now. Nothing happens without a reason. This is the highest knowledge.
So, some Masters will always say that if you are suffering, it’s not because of somebody, it’s because of you only. You better suffer and get rid of it.
Instead of that, if you say, “That person is responsible for my suffering”, then you are creating more karma and carrying it on to the next lifetime. But if you say, “My suffering is because of me, and I take ownership of the karma”, then you become free.
Saying, “My suffering is due to that person”, will continue the karma because that impression will be there in your mind. Why are you not looking inside? Why are you not moving on? Why are you holding onto an event of the past and blaming the other person for your karma? If you do this then you will continue to be miserable.