Don't hang on to the past

There is no way you are in satsang and you are depressed!

See sometimes this is what happens when you go to psychologists. They give you an idea that you are depressed. And then you put this idea into your mind, ‘Oh! I am depressed!’

So you are reaffirming something which is not a permanent thing. No mental state is a permanent state. So you are trying to reinforce and reaffirm, ‘I am depressed’ even when you are not.

You start saying ‘Yes, I am depressed’. 

This is the danger when people who do not know anything about the mind, about the psyche and about meditation or consciousness, give advice in the name of psychology. It is such a miserable thing.

I have seen relationships between parents and children get spoiled by psychologists and psychiatrists. A child had such a good relationship with his parents but after some consultation or counseling with the psychologists, something happened, and he started hating his own parents.

There was a businessman here at the ashram for the past one and a half months. He came all the way from Paris. This person had a sleeping disorder. He was given so many medications.

Usually for sleep doctors give a dose of ten milligrams; this man was taking a hundred and fifty milligrams. Ten times the normal dose of the medicine. He looked like a zombie and kept having panic attacks and his whole system was bad.

I told him, ‘now, I want to take away all your medications.’ We took away his medications and he said, ‘but, I don’t sleep’. Our doctors attended to him, all our teachers attended to him. He was snoring loudly and when you snore loudly, it means you are sleeping. After snoring for four hours he wakes up and says, ‘I did not sleep. I have a sleeping problem.’

The doctors who attended to him said, ‘Guruji, he snored so loudly!’

But this gentleman had this idea, I have sleeping disorder so I have to take this medication. Without this medication I cannot sleep.

Sometimes, you have this idea, whatever doctors say is absolute truth. Like the placebo effect. Doctor says, ‘Take this tablet and you’ll be fine’, and you take a sugar pill and say, ‘Ah! This is very effective’. A sugar pill can take away your headache.

If the doctor tells you, ‘you suffer from deep depression’, you take it in your mind and in your heart. You say, ‘I suffer from depression’.

Your mind is like a river, it is changing all the time. That is what Lord Buddha said, ‘your mind is like a river’.

All the ancient people who studied consciousness have said, ‘You can’t take a dip in the same river twice’. So, don’t believe you are the same person. Your mind is changing all the time.

Be in the present moment, now! Now! Now!

Bury the past and move on. Where is the depression? Your depression is because you are hanging onto the past or you are over-ambitious. You have the capability to manage a school but you want to become the Prime Minister of the country. Then depression comes when you feel you cannot achieve it.

Don’t hang on to the past or don’t be too feverish or over-ambitious about the future.

There is no disparity between Advaita and Dvaita

Madhvacharya has spoken about ‘Dvaita’ and Adi Shankaracharya has spoken about ‘Advaita’. ‘Advaita’ is like quantum physics and ‘Dvaita’ is like chemistry.

In chemistry you say there are these many isotopes or you refer a periodic table where they categorize all the different elements. But if you go to a quantum physicist, he will say, ‘it is all just wave function’. A periodic table does not exist for a quantum physicist. He says everything is only atoms; wave functions. 

Both are right. Chemistry has its utility and physics has its reality.

It is really brilliant what Adi Shankara has said and it is equally very interesting what Madhvacharya has said. 

He said, ‘everything exists at their different levels and at that level it is good.’ 

On a practical note, Madhvacharya emphasised on love and devotion. For love you need two and in devotion you need someone to surrender to; a higher power to surrender to. So this is a practical thing that Madhvacharya said, ‘surrender all your troubles and difficulties’.

Adi Shankaracharya said, ‘Hey! Just wake up and see it is all nothing’.  

That is what Lord Buddha also said.

Lies spoken in business

In business, one can speak lies to some extent, as much as there is salt in the food. If you speak too many lies, you are likely to get into trouble. And if you do not add any salt, you will not be able to eat the food. So if lies exceed a certain limit, things can go seriously wrong. 

While selling a product, knowing well that it is a second grade product, you pass it off as first grade or high quality product even though you have no idea whether it is or not, is okay.

It has been said that for a religious person, a Guru, a Saint and a teacher, speaking lies is absolutely prohibited; it doesn't happen anyway! For a king, a little bit of lies is acceptable, and for a trader, a little bit more lies is okay. 

So a trader can speak that same amount of lies as there is salt in the food.

Living in a de-centralized world

When people are educated in ethics, then a de-centralized world is a result of it. It will be a spontaneous outcome of it when people are very spiritual. This is what is said in the ancient Indian scriptures as well. 
There was no need for a king at all at a time when everyone was living knowledge because everybody did their job. There was no need for police, soldiers or an army and no need for even businessmen because there was everything in abundance in every aspect of life. 
But when that is not the case and when there are differences in the world on all levels; on a social level, economic level, political level, religious level, and on the level of education, then these hierarchies happen.

There is a scripture in the ancient Vedic tradition that codifies, what is one’s duty and what is one’s authority.

It says, don’t exercise authority, but there is duty for every one of us to do. So if everyone does their duty, then there is no need for one to control anything.

But when people fail their duties, authority comes into power. This is a natural phenomenon.

In Costa Rica, there is no police. If you remember, a few decades ago there was no violation of traffic rules or any crime in Bengaluru or Mysore. About forty to fifty years ago, there was no need of police. You would hardly see a policeman here or there. This was not too long ago. Forty to fifty years ago, Mysore had only one hotel. Every home was a guest house. People would throw open their homes for guests. Guests would come and stay free of cost. They would serve them and treat them like Gods. They would cook for them the best of the foods and offer it to them. And whatever gifts they receive, they wouldn’t agree to take anything. People would put tents on top of their homes and put beds in them so that anybody can go and stay in anyone’s house.

Today, that has completely disappeared. It is not there because of crime. People are afraid to open their doors.

So, that type of moral and spiritual strength when it dawns, authority turns into personal duty.

When crime elevates, authority comes, and authority in turn creates more crime.

This is a vicious circle that happens.

People who control everything, they become the cause of everything that is being generated in the society. At the same time, you can't do away with authorities if there is crime in the society.

But the question is who gets to be the authority? 
Democracy is the most beautiful thing to have. But misuse of democracy is when criminals get elected to parliament and they become the law makers. The one who breaks the law becomes the law maker of a setup.

Dictatorship is even worse as there is no accountability. But parliamentary democracy has this big problem. Votes can be bought by money and other favours and with muscle power. 
So we need to look at the system. Every system has got something good in it and some serious flaws.

Anarchy can take over if authority is reduced. Authority can stifle the freedom of people and hamper progress if it is not in the right perspective, right dosage and right hands. 
When authority falls onto an anarchist or when there is lack of any authority for a socialist, then they can’t do anything.

Sometimes, lack of progress in some of the third world countries is due to too much parliamentarianism.

To make a road it has to go through the parliament and pass through many levels because nobody wants to take the authority and take the responsibility and act. Everything is postponed or there is a sort of tendency to procrastinate. Things never move.
So, a strong leader is essential.

At the same time what is really needed is wisdom. Being in service of people rather than thinking one has an authority over the people.

Whether it is a business man, politician or an officer, they all should bear this in mind, including spiritual and religious leaders. If they think they have control over people, they have authority over people then it is a disaster. They would cause more harm than good to people.

Many times the religious head of a particular group gives a whip and says you all must vote for this particular party or these particular people. This is very wrong. It is robbing people of their freedom. Many times in the North East if you want to conduct a yoga course there, the head of the religious institution has to give a permit for the yoga course to be conducted. And if they find out that the people are doing yoga, then they create so much guilt in them. ‘You are a sinner; you are going to satanic things.’ This should not be done. 
That is why in ancient days, and ancient people in this country had a very different approach. They never emphasized authority. They only spoke about ‘tyaga’, renunciation. 
Many times people ask me, why is there not one pope for Hinduism like you have for Catholics or Islam, for the whole nation. I said, the structure itself is such that it is very different. It is not like one authority; it is an inspiration.

No one had to give me a title; you are a saint from today. It all happens by one’s action. When you walk the talk, you become an inspirational model.

Nobody gave Mahatma Gandhi an authority but his life itself became an inspiration for many to walk the path.

Same with Aurobindo, nobody told Aurobindo, ‘From today you have this authority’. No! But his words had such an impact on so many.

Rise and fall of civilisations

The wheel of change takes over. 
When autumn comes, the leaves change colour and in winter the leaves drop from the trees, but the tree remains. In the same way, in Kaliyug there was a downfall. It happened to almost every country. 
If you watch the global scenario, India was at the top at one point of time and then it collapsed. Before that, Mongolia was at the top and Mongolia collapsed. Mongols had gone all the way up to Europe and then they came to India as well. 
Then India was shining once upon a time. India’s influence went as far as Peru in South America. There were Shiva Lingas and statues of Ganesha found in Mexico. India’s influence also went till Australia, New Zealand and Japan during the Mahabharata time. India was all over the place. 
The Canadian province, Nova Scotia (Nav Kosha) was mentioned in Mahabharata. ‘Nav’ means nine; ‘kosha’ means the measurement of time. There is nine hours difference between India and the Canadian province Nova Scotia. 
California was called Kapilaranya. When it is day in India, it is night in Kapilaranya. That is what the scriptures would say and today California and India has exactly twelve hours time difference. 
So once upon a time this civilization was present all over the world and then it shrank.
After that England came. A small little country from north of Europe and its influence spread throughout the world. As far as New Zealand to Canada and through America. The whole of Africa was taken over. Then the influence of England also started shrinking and today it is only with England. 
There was a time when the sun would never set in the Kingdom of UK. But that also lasted for a few decades. 
At the same time, the Portuguese were colonising the whole of Brazil. Spain colonised the entire Latin and South America. All their local languages disappeared and the Spanish language spread over the entire continent of South America and Central America.
So time has its own rhythm. These things come and go.

Understanding and experiencing God

Unless you have experienced it, you cannot understand it. 

You simply have heard someone say it. 

But that is okay. Keep it at the back of your mind and just live simply and naturally. Know that the highest flowering in life is being in love and acting through love. 

You may not feel love all the time and everywhere. Many times we try to feel love as an emotion. Love is not an emotion, it is our very existence. 

So, ‘God is love’ should not be taken as being more emotional.

You have just heard somebody saying you are God, okay let it be! Just go through your experience. You are nobody, you are an expanded awareness; know that much. 

First understand what you are not then what you are comes to you spontaneously.

What should I do as a believer when people criticize my Guru, my religious book or my belief?

Just give a big smile.
Tell them you smile at their ignorance. That one comment does more work than getting angry at them.
If someone says something against what you hold dear, say 'I pity your ignorance.' That is all. What can you do? You can’t change someone's wrong thinking by force. They won't take it.
In those situations, sarcasm is the best way to handle it. Your sarcasm goes like an arrow into their mind and breaks the barrier which they might have created for themselves. 
Tell them, ‘I feel sorry for your ignorance’ and that is good enough. 

Purifying the heart, soul and body

All actions that are evolutionary and all that supports life. Selfless dedicated service. 
Not that I do some service and think what do I get in return? No, that is not called service. Seva is an act done without wishing for something in return. This act is very important. Seva purifies our karma. 
There is a proverb in India, ’a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) on the rice purifies the rice.’ You know why? This is because if you eat rice just like that it digests very fast and becomes sugar very quickly. Many people who eat rice like that, they become diabetic. 
A cardiologist told me, anytime you take cereals; you should have a little bit of fat with it. A spoon of ghee on top of it slows down the digestion. It becomes complex carbohydrates and helps to balance the sugar level in the body and that helps a healthy heart function.
That is why the ancient people had said this, ‘a spoon of ghee purifies the rice.’
Knowledge purifies the intellect. How many of you experienced that knowledge purifies the intellect? All the anger, cravings, aversions about other people, everything disappears.
Music purifies the emotions.
Charity purifies money that you earn. At least three to four percent of what you earn should be given away in charity. If all that we earn we spend on ourselves, it is not considered pure money or good money. Charity purifies the money and then you can enjoy the rest of the money. Otherwise the rest of the money just goes in hospitals and other things. 
Prayer purifies the heart. Meditation purifies the soul.
Ayurveda, triphala purifies the body and cleanses the bowels. We keep stuffing food into our system all the time, but once in a while we need to purge the system. Four or five tablets taken at night before going to bed, in the morning your stomach is all clean.
So Ayurveda, yoga, pranayama and exercise purifies the body. Pranayama purifies the whole system, the body mind complex. That is why after Sudarshan Kriya you feel so clean. It cleanses you of all the karma, it brings that clarity.

Praising the fool benefits society!

A fool who is pleased might stop doing harm and start doing useful work.
In this sense it is wise to praise a fool; it helps to motivate him. So your praise is meaningful when it is directed towards a fool.
A wise man by his nature will continue doing good work because his attitude does not depend on someone’s praise or blame. So it serves no purpose to praise a wise man because your praise will have no impact on him.
There are three types of people – the wise, the crooked and the immature.
The wise man continues doing good work whether he is scolded or praised.
Crooked people need to be praised to get them to do good work.
And from time to time immature people need to be both praised and scolded for them to do something good.

Seeing God

Do you want to see God? How many of you want to see God? It doesn’t take much time. Stop seeing the world. If you see the world, you can’t see God. Either you can see God or you can see the world. You can’t see both. You have to choose one. 
If you want to see God, I’ll show you right away. Stop seeing the differences. Stop seeing the world.
Quantum physics can show you God. Know that this all is one, that everything is made up of One. It is an illusion that there is this person and that person. It is an illusion that there is this object and that object. All objects are made up of One.
We are like in a hologram. One light beam makes the hologram. It appears to be an object but it is not an object, it is just light’s play and display. This whole universe is a play and display of light which appears to be different. There is nothing but God on this planet. 
If you sit in a movie show, whatever you see on the screen is just light passing through, that’s all. Light is passing through a running film and appears to be different things, different people and different incidents.
Like this, the whole world is a play and display of one consciousness. There is no matter and there is no energy. There is no you, there is no me, there is no this, there is no that. It is all just One. That is it! You sit still. 
In the Bible it says, ’Be still and know that I am God.’ It is the mind that sees the differences. The intellect perceives the differences. Transcend the intellect and be still. There is only one thing.
You can’t say One, because to say One, you need to have two. If you say something is complete, then you have to be outside of it and say it is complete.
The ancient people were so brilliant that you would be amazed. They said, non-dual, there is no two. To say One is wrong. Only two can say it is One. That there is no two is the best way to express it. That is what is called advaita (non-dual) but dvaita means dual.
This is like pure science, like quantum physics. You can experience, you can know it, but in practical life, you have to come one step down. You have to acknowledge the duality, the multiplicity in creation. 
The table, chair, roof, door, is all made up of wood here and that is a fact. But you can’t use the chair for a door and a door for a chair. From that level, you have to operate in duality.
So the Periodic Table in chemistry is also true and quantum physics is also true. Both talk about the same matter.

How to deal with blame

You know, somebody is talking negative about you, they are dumping garbage. You should not hold your gunny bag and catch it. When somebody is dumping garbage, you simply move away from there. Don't take it in. 

If they say something negative about you, there are two reasons: one is, either they are doing it out of jealousy, or they are doing it because they love you very much. They are good friends with you and want the best for you, so they show your negative points or your weak points. 

So if they say something negative, either you thank them because they took the guts and said it, which others normally don't want to say to you. 

If someone criticizes you, they gathered the courage to do so, and they put their friendship at risk to criticize you. So thank them. And if they are just saying it out of jealousy, just forget about them and move on with a smile.

Don't speak sweet lies and unpleasant truth

Remember these three aspects - naturalness, simplicity and belongingness. 
I have travelled to so many countries and met thousands of people but I have never felt that anyone is a stranger and does not belong to me.  When we do not feel that someone is a stranger then they too will not look at us as a stanger. When will someone feel the belongingness? When we feel belongingness with them. Everyone is our own and no one is a stranger - this is the first mantra.
Second, whatever is inside is also outside. Just open up your heart and be natural.
Next is living a simple life. Living with the confidence that we will anyway get whatever is needed, that is simplicity. Right or wrong, I am what I am. If we live like this, naturally, then there will not be any fear. Then there will be no doubts or blocks in life. This is the important mantra of Art of Living.
Now this does not mean that because you are natural and simple, you go to your office and tell your boss, 'you are stupid'. Don't do that! Use your brains a little. Guruji says 'be sincere and natural'; so you go to a funeral, and say, 'I don't feel anything. Why are you crying? Let us celebrate!'
I heard one gentleman went home after completing his Advanced Course, lifted his wife in his arms and happily went around the house. The wife asked, "What happened today? Has Guruji said love your wife?" Then this gentleman said, "No, no. Guruji said, carry your burden and botheration joyfully!'

Innocence with Intelligence is the right formula

The whole world is one family, so it is necessary that we live with naturalness and simplicity; only then life blossoms. 
The second thing is, the wall that we erect between ourselves and others needs to be demolished. Drop all inhibitions between you and others. From your side you drop inhibitions. Go on and shake hands. This is what kids do. However, as we grow up, we tend to lose that. We create a wall between us. We bring formalities between us and forget our naturalness. However, in Mumbai that spirit is there, the sense of belongingness!
All those who are grown up physically, but want to be a child again, or think you are one, just go for it! Don't worry about what others think about you. If the world calls us crazy, let them say, but you be happy. Be in the present and be natural. 
What is most important in the world is innocence along with intelligence. The innocence of an ignorant person has no value. Similarly the crookedness of an intelligent person has no value. What is most valuable is innocence and intelligence. Innocence and intelligence should go together.
We need to bring these things in the society. In children there is innocence, naturalness, and ease. Together with that, intelligence should be sharpened, and our education system should be this way. 
This is what I call spirituality - that which keeps the spirit uplifted. Not that spirit which one takes and experiences a temporary high! The inner spirit - keeping your spirit alive with enthusiasm, with innocence, with naturalness - this is spirituality.
In the Bible, Jesus said, 'Unless you become like a child, you cannot get into the kingdom of heaven.' 
In Hindi, they say 'Bhole bhaav mile raghurayi' - one who lacks innocence can never find Ram. So, maintain your innocence. How to maintain innocence? Know that God is One for everyone and be natural with everyone.
Inside everyone there is a power.  Parmatma means that - that which is present everywhere; that which is omnipresent. So, will it not be present within us? If it is not present within me, it is not Parama atma. And if it is forever, then it exists in the present also. It is not that it was present previously and will appear again in the future. 
Parmatma is always there, and therefore is here right this very moment. Resting with this knowledge is meditation - parmatma is here, in the present, within me. If you rest with this thought, all the restlessness in the mind will quiet down. Once the mind is silenced, Boom! A radiance will be experienced.
This is what everyone had been in search of. For how many lifetimes we had been in search of this, and then one realizes, 'I am THAT!' Aham brahmasmi. 'Tat tvam asi' - 'You are THAT which you are in search of.'
If you close your eyes and rest and meditate a little bit in the knowledge of 'You are THAT', as you go deep, you will also realize, 'I am THAT.' Once you experience this, all your work will get done effortlessly! So, meditation is a very big gift to us.

There Is No Escape From The Guru

You can’t escape from having a Guru, or being a Guru. Everyone has to realize this, that there is no escape, or no way out.
There is a proverb in Sanskrit that says, ‘I first salute the wicked because he is teaching me by falling into a pit. He has warned me. Then I salute the one who has shown me the light’.
See, the one who is showing you the light is not doing so at his own cost. But the one who is falling, is teaching you at his own cost.
So by default everyone is a Guru because you are teaching someone something. You may not be moving people from where they are stuck, or granting them what they want, or bringing them freedom (as that requires a higher qualification), but you are definitely teaching them some wisdom. At least one of the four functions of the Guru everybody has, i.e., knowledge, progress, achievement and liberation.
So there is no escape from having a Guru or being a Guru. By default, someone or the other will learn from you.
The four benefits of having a Guru:
1. Wisdom
2. Progress in life
3. Achievement
4. Liberation
Without knowledge there cannot be organization, if organization is there, that means that there is knowledge because knowledge has organizing power. This is what has been said by the Ancient Seers.
There is a verse in the Vedas that says, ‘Wisdom and knowledge lies in the imperishable sounds and letters which are embedded in the space beyond the physical space, which is the abode of all the angels.’
This space (which the Vedas refer to) is the inner space in which all the Devas are imbedded, and if you have no access to this space then what is the point of all of this knowledge. And one who has access to the inner space is just full of bliss, and nothing can shake him or her. These four things – wisdom, progress, achievement and liberation - come from that inner space.
This is all very interesting! In this era of technology, it is so easy to comprehend. Several decades ago, people would not comprehend this. It is very difficult for many to comprehend this, of course, not for those who have meditated deeply. But those who just read this, it is very difficult for them to comprehend that there is a space in which all the knowledge is embedded.
Do you know, when you sent a text message what happens? The text travels through the space and in a fraction of a second, it enters into the other cell phone. In between two cell phones, where is the text? Have you ever thought about it? I think many people have not even thought about it. That space through which the text message travels is already there.
Supposed you type something, and the receiver gets something else; just imagine if there is some mismatch. You type, “Honey, I love you”, and the person receives a message from you that says, “You’re a stupid guy”. Nothing happens like because that Parame Vyoman is so structured. There could be an error in tying but not an error because of the space element because the space element is so perfect.
Angels are not figures, they are just energies. When we use the word energy, it feels like some dead inert substance, but if you use the word angel it feels alive and lively. If you say, ‘The human body is carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins’, or you say, ‘A living human being’, it makes a difference somewhere. In the same way, the energies are called Devas.
The word Deva has many meanings, but one of the meaning is ‘Light’. Another meaning is ‘Playful’, one who loves to play. Deva also means ‘Perfection’. Perfection,
playfulness, light and positivity – this is what Devas are. It is a very interesting analysis.
We are so fortune to get all this knowledge which has been maintained for thousands of years. Without any scriptures and books also, you can realize this knowledge. But the authenticity of it is when you know that the same knowledge has been there for many years (scriptures). So, the authentication is essential.
Perfection, authenticity, simplicity, clarity, universality and reality – this is what we have in the Art of Living. It is all very sure and very clear. And this knowledge is also practical, it has a utility to it.

Finding the right balance through meditation

Today scientists say, if you meditate even for eight weeks at least once a day, the grey matter in the brain increases and the structure of the brain changes. That's what I have been saying for the last 35-40 years. Today scientists have said the same thing, they have authenticated it in some way – that meditation does so much good to your nervous system and it does so much good to your brain. It creates a positive energy around you, it uplifts your spirit and alters your behavior pattern.
World Health Organization says that the biggest challenge that mankind is facing today is depression, and by the year 2020 depression is going to be much more prevalent. If half the population are on anti-depressants, then that is going to be terrible. Even anti-depressants work for some time and then they stop working. So, we need to bring a lifestyle change in people by making them understand how they can handle their own mind, their energy and their vibrations.
We live in era of quantum physics and today quantum physics says this is all about vibration. The whole world is nothing but vibrations, and this is what spirituality also says – it's all vibration. So, we need to teach people how they can shake off all the stress that accumulates on a day-to-day basis.
30 years ago, when I would talk about yoga or meditation, people would say, “Wow, that's not the normal thing to do. Someone who is crazy would go for all this”. That was the paradigm, that was the assumption people had. Today it has changed. Today, big companies, like Daimler Chrysler Benz, show someone in a meditative pose to depict happiness in their advertising. Relaxation and happiness has become synonymous to meditation. I feel there's a big change in the mindset of the people.

How to overcome feelings of hurt

If you have wisdom, you don’t have to go through pain to learn. We go through pain because we lack wisdom. But remember that you will come out of pain or hurt at some time or the other.
It is important for one to have a larger context to life. When you have a larger context, then trivial things don’t really bother you. They are like waves on the surface of the ocean – they rise and fall. So, if you are in pain, or have been hurt, here are the four ways of looking at the situation that will ease your pain:

#1 The one who has hurt you is pained:
Many a times, people cause hurt to others because they have scars, and they are unhappy and miserable. They can only share what they have. They are hurt and they are sharing the hurt with you. You might think that these people are hurting you purposely, but in fact it is because they do not have happiness inside them, they don’t have joy or peace. They have pain inside them, which is why they are causing you hurt. So, what should the wounded party do? Compassion. You have to be compassionate to those who hurt you, because they are wounded themselves.

#2 The one causing you hurt is just ignorant:
There are people who hurt others out of sheer ignorance. They are not sensitive and they are not aware that their actions are hurting others. They don’t know themselves and they don’t know what they are doing. They are ignorant and arrogant. You can only feel sorry for them and hope that someday they will become sensitive and intelligent.

#3 You’re hurting because it is just karma:
You had to get this hurt, and if not this person, then someone else would have given it to you. You must have caused some hurt to someone in the past, so nature is bringing it back to you now. When you know that it's just the karma being repaid, you feel very settled.

#4 It is being done to make you strong:
Nature is bringing this pain to you so that you become strong, so that you discover the strength and power within you. Usually, when a pole is being installed, after the installation, they shake the pole to check whether it is rooted well enough or not. Hurt is just that, to see whether you are well established in yourself, whether you are in wisdom or not. Every hurt is trying to shake you, to see whether you are strong or not. It tests your strength. It is to make you stronger.
If you think a wise person or someone intelligent is hurting you, then you should be thankful because there is some purpose in that. They want you to be strong.
If your mother is scolding you, she is not doing it with bad intentions. If your father is scolding you, you can’t say, “Oh my father hurt me! My mother hurt me!”
Your parents are not hurting you – they are coming from a space of care and concern for you. We must recognize that they are doing things out of their limited understanding and love for you.
There are two major things that you feel when you are hurt – lack of communication and lack of understanding. Another reason to feel hurt, if you want to count it, is being oversensitive to irrelevant or ephemeral things. Events are all ephemeral – they are all moving and impermanent. Everything is changing. You don’t need to become oversensitive, “Oh he said this thing to me, she said this thing to me!”
Now, if someone is trying to physically hurt you, you just be careful and equip yourself. I am not saying if someone comes to hurt you, you fall at their feet. No, you be intelligent and protect yourself.

Mysterious ways of Karma

What do we get upset with? We don’t get upset with the birds, or the clouds, or with Nature. We don’t get upset with the environment. So, what do we get upset with?
We get upset with the people around us. Our enemies upset us and our friends upset us as well. Our mind gets stuck either in our friends or in our enemies. We either think about our friends or we think about our enemies the entire day.
People become our enemies even when we have not done any wrong to them. Many people have had this experience. We didn’t do any wrong to them; neither did we misbehave and still they became our enemies. This is very surprising! We think, ‘Oh! Why has he become my enemy? Until yesterday he was my friend.’ In the same way, we do not do any special favours for some people, yet they become our close friends.
That is why I tell you, this is some astonishing and mysterious Karma – how some people become our enemies and some our friends.
So what should we do? We should place both our friends and enemies in one basket, and just become empty from within and be joyful. 
All these happenings (people becoming friends and enemies) are run by some law and we don’t know how and where it comes from. We just can’t say when someone’s feelings towards us will change and whether it will be in our favour or not in our favour. We just can’t say. That is why we should place absolute faith on our Self, on God, and not on friendship and enmity. We should not waste our time thinking about friends and enemies. What do you all think?
This does not mean you distance yourself from your friends, or that you stop making new friends. That is not what I am saying. Friendliness should be in our nature; love should be in our very nature. We are love after all!
When someone comes and sits beside us, we do smile at them and exchange a few words. This does not mean you think, ‘Anyways, who is a friend or who is an enemy, there is nothing to share with anyone’, and you walk around with a gloomy face being angry with everyone – this is not a sign of wisdom. This is ignorance and foolishness.
We must interact with everyone around us but at the same time be centred from within. Do you understand?
When we are centred, then we will not feel sad, angry or possessive. Then we will not have disappointment of any kind. Otherwise many times what happens, we become sad – ‘Oh! Look, I made him such a good friend and today he does not even talk to me. I did so many favours for him and he has turned against me!’ By thinking all these thoughts we waste the time we have in the present. We should not do this, Okay!
It is futile to search for a true friend in the world. Befriend the Truth (Divine) and the World is yours.

How to 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 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 understand that suffering is only transient, your eyes get lifted to something that is eternal. That is when real joy dawns in life.

Belongingness and Obligations

Belongingness can bring about a host of negative emotions like demand, jealousy, lack of awareness and lack of gratitude. Just look into your own life, you feel more grateful to strangers than the people who “belong” to you. Belongingness reduces gratefulness, awareness; and gives rise to demands which destroy love.
This is the biggest problem in relationships. People are nice to strangers and give more attention to them. With a sense of belongingness comes carefreeness and lack of attention.
Belongingness can make you insensitive, dull, and take away the charm in life! Anyway, who belongs to whom in this world? Here you are a stranger and everyone is a stranger to you. Blessed are those who feel they are strangers. You feel more obliged to a stranger than the person who belongs to you. An obligation is very good to keep a check on your ego. It makes you humble. There is no greater antidote to ego than humility. Being humble is the beginning of all virtues.
People have such resistance for obligations. They do not realize that they are always under obligations, whether giving or taking! Dull people think that one is obliged only when one takes. The wise know that even when one is giving one is under obligations, as the person has accepted what one gives. So whether you give or take you are under obligations. And if someone does not give or take, you are still under obligation! For they are freeing you from visible obligations!
That is to say, you are obliged to all those who do not make you obliged! Got it?
Life renews itself every time by making you a stranger in this old and familiar world. You are simply loaded with obligations and you are a total stranger in this world every moment!

What Is Surrender and How to Surrender?

A desire comes into your heart. You don’t know where it comes from, but it comes. And unless and until it gets completed, you are restless. Isn’t this your experience?
What to do then? A desire has already arisen – it may be a silly desire; sometimes, the desire makes no sense. And sometimes, it makes all the sense. But when these desires come to the mind, you are stuck with them. Whether you are sitting, walking, eating, or sleeping, you carry this desire in your heart all the time.
In the beginning, the desire brings a hope, so there is some enthusiasm, some joy, and an expectation. But a little later, that becomes restlessness. And even later, the same thing ferments and becomes pain. At this point, you want to drop it, but you don’t know how to drop it. You read all the philosophical books… this and that, you meditate, and do all the gymnastics and still it doesn’t leave. Even after experiencing pain, it still doesn’t leave, and this is the worst part.
You know that this desire is painful, but you can’t get away from it, and you want to get away from it. Doesn’t this happen? Does this ring a bell? Does what I am saying make sense? Many of you have had this experience!
Here, you forget that there is a loving presence that cares for you, which takes total care of you, like a mother would take care of a baby. Like that, the presence, or consciousness, or a supreme power—call it whatever you like—this consciousness is fully aware and is taking care, like a mid-wife would do at the time of birth. A mid-wife is there, standing and seeing the pain of the mother, helping her in the birthing process. In the same way, a presence is there, and it wants you to learn something.
What is that something? There is a presence – the presence is caring for you, don’t worry. Offer this desire to the Divine. Challenge the Divine – why did you give me this desire in the first place? It is better you take care of it. At that very moment, that pain, or restlessness, or desire transforms into an infinite state of clear awareness, or love. Immense love wells up in you – this is called surrender.
Surrender happens spontaneously with the knowledge that you are not in control of anything – not even your thoughts or feelings. You cannot do anything about the thoughts and feeling that come to you. When you realize that you are not in control of your life, but life is governed by some supreme law, then surrender happens.
It is unwise to think that the little mind can do everything in life, or is in control of life. Surrender is a realization that your effort cannot bring forth all that you want in life. The big or great cannot be had by the effort of the small mind. Otherwise it is not great or big. When do you call something a gift? When it is so great that it is beyond your effort.
When you are relaxed, you are in a state of surrender. When you are grateful for all that you have been given in life, then you are in a state of surrender. When you are totally helpless, and you realize your helplessness, then you are in a state of surrender.
You can experience this very well in third-world countries, where things don’t work too well. You don’t know when the electricity will come and when it will go away. You are not sure about water, electricity, buses or trains, or anything. All is left to God.
What I mean is, the more organized your life is, the more of a false idea comes to your mind that you are in control. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of things. Take care of things, organize yourself, but at the same time know that you are not in control of anything. Then surrender has happened. And that surrender is unparalleled in this world. It has so much power.
We think surrender is a sign of weakness, when in fact it is a sign of strength. We think surrender means defeat! You know, a person who is being defeated can never surrender, because he appears to be submissive but then he is waiting to lift his hood back up. Surrender comes with knowledge, with realization, and with gratefulness.
Tonight, when you sleep, feel that you have dropped everything and given everything to the Divine – your body, your mind, your breath, your thoughts, your feelings, your environment, everything is offered to the Divine and you have nothing now. Have nothing and be nothing. That is bliss.
If you take this one step, I have nothing, and I am nothing, then you will be the happiest person on this planet, and everything will come to you.