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.