Why is there pain on the Spiritual Path

You know it’s there for a purpose. See many people come to the path because they have some pain but not all. Some people come to the path out of curiosity. Some come seeking knowledge. 

Quite a bit of the population wants relief from pain so they come to the path. And then they are on the path and realise, 'Wow! Life is much more than I thought it was'. Do you see what I’m saying? It opens new doors.

Mediation and all these courses and satsangs and everything we do is reducing pain and suffering in the world. We are already doing that.

You want me to with a magic wand remove everybody’s pain then it is not fair. They have to do something in their life to clean up, yes. There is purpose.

Can agnostic or atheist become an Art of Living teacher?

Definitely, don’t worry as long as you acknowledge there is form and there is formless and the world is an interplay of form and formless.

When you meditate you don’t have to see God with a nose, with hair, with a beard sitting somewhere up in heaven, there is no such God. If you believe in Godliness then that is good enough.

If you think God is an energy that is good enough. You don’t have to see God as a person, telling you or talking to you or something. Like there is an electric field, biometric field there is also a field of love. If you acknowledge that then that is good enough. And the highest goal of a human life is to grow and feel connected with the entire cosmos.

That is why Lord Buddha never talked about God. Also Pantanjali, when he described Yoga, in only one place he mentioned God, other than that he only talked about the consciousness, the mind. You know the Jains, they only talk about the self. They didn’t say there is a God up there somewhere. So even those who talked about God they said God is love. Jesus said God is love and love is God.

Dealing with emotions

Emotions come and go, why do you have to bother so much? Even if I tell you something, when the emotions come you will forget all about that. It’s useless to be preparing for it. 

You know they just come and they go, just relax. I don’t want to give you suggestions and ideas which you can’t implement and later on, feel guilty about it. Already you have one problem, on top of it you will have another problem of feeling guilty. Guruji said it and I didn’t do it. No, I don’t like to put more trouble; you have enough (laughter).

So, just relax and know that you are on the right path. That is all you need to know, you are on the right track, relax and things will continue.

Signs of being in love

When you love someone you don't see anything wrong with them. Even if you see some fault in them, you justify the fault and say, "Well, everyone does it! It is normal".
Then you think you have not done enough for them. The more you do, the more you want to do for them. And they are always on your mind. You want to see them happy, you want them to have the best, and you get hurt even over small things. Ordinary things become extraordinary when you are in love.

How does one recognise one's soulmate

First you should recognize your soul and then your soul mate. 
You don’t know anything about yourself, you don’t know who you are. You don’t know your mind. Your own mind drives you crazy. One minute it wants something and the next minute it wants something else. That is why it is said, "Your own mind is responsible for your bondage and for your liberation, nothing else".
A relationship can either take the form of strength or weakness depending on the mind. If the mind is strong then a relationship can be like a gift, but if the mind is weak and not in control, then a relationship can feel like bondage.
Don’t be too fussy, and keep waiting for some perfect life partner. If you get a perfect person, they will also be looking for a perfect life partner. Are you that perfect person? Look for a good person and get married. Even if you get somebody who is not up to your mark, I tell you, you have the ability to change them! Believe in this and move on.
When you are centered, when you are choiceless, then everything happens in your way.

Convincing others to do the Art of Living course

You know I don’t know. I have no idea. But whomsoever did it know how wonderful the experience is, isn’t it. It is very difficult to put into words that inner experience which is so beautiful, so personal.
I understand your desire, ‘Oh I experienced this and I want everyone else to do it. I became free, everyone else should become free.’ This inner calling will be there. As long as it is there, you find ways; tell them in whatever way. Don’t talk too much. When we explain too much things go bad. We simply have to say very little, ‘You know this course is fantastic, come and do it’, and that’s it. Okay?
There is a saying in Sanskrit, when you start explaining a thing you are distorting the thing. When you explain something put into words too much, especially your feelings, you have distorted it. If you have love for someone, don’t go on telling them ten times, ‘Oh I love you, I love you, I love you’, no! Just one look from you and the love oozes out from your whole body. A person can feel the vibration.
A baby, children, they don’t keep saying, ‘Oh I love you, I love you’. Someone who is mature will say okay, what next! I am not saying it is bad to do that, but the better way is to show your love in action rather than in words too much. 
There is a big challenge between the east and west. In the east, people never say to each other, ‘I love you.’ And in the west, in America if you see, all the time people say, ‘Oh, I love you, I love you.’ I feel it should be somewhere in the middle. Maybe Europe is the best example.
You should express a little bit and conceal a little bit. It is like a seed you know. If you bury the seed too deep in the soil it will never sprout. That is what happened all over the east; Korea, Japan, India, China. People never say to each other I love you; very little. They don’t express their feelings so much. So at the same time if you keep talking to your beloved, ‘honey, honey, honey’, all the time, honey this, honey that and then you become diabetic. And then you don’t want to look at the honey at all. I don’t know how many honeys have become rejections in the world, yes! So many divorces have happened because too much of honey, honey, honey. Too much of expression of love also makes it weaker. 
So somewhere your feeling for someone should come up in the action and a little bit in words too. A little bit in expression too. What do you say? Good idea?

How to increase self-confidence and be yourself with new people

I have the other problem. I feel so connected to everybody I don’t feel anybody as new to me. Anybody whom I meet I feel I know this person already. What to do?! I don’t find anybody new at all. In the last sixty years or so I have travelled around the world and I have not met one new person. I have met millions of people, anybody I see I feel so connected, I feel so joyful, I feel happy. 
You have the opposite problem. Don’t worry what they think about you. I don’t worry what others think about me at all. They can think whatever they want to think. Thoughts are what? They are just some ideas that come and go away. Like clouds they come and they go. 
Why do you worry what they think about you? You agree to be like a clown. At the most what? A new person will think you are a clown. You are stupid. You be ready, yes I am stupid, I am a clown, so what! What can they do?! What can they do? Why do you worry what they think about you? Even if they think bad about you, will it stay? If you are genuinely happy, if you are genuinely good, they will change their opinion when you are genuinely good. Know that I am genuinely good, I am being myself, never mind what they think about me, so what! I just walk and greet everyone, ‘Hi’. Sometimes they don’t smile but never mind you keep smiling. And then they wonder and start smiling, you know.
Some twenty years ago or so I was in Switzerland. Suddenly one day we were just waiting for something. I don’t know for what, I don’t remember now, this was in Lucent. It was night time and a little cold and so people were coming in the bus and were going and everyone was so serious. Nobody was smiling. Then I said to some people who were with me, there were just four or five of them, ‘you know just go and shake hands and make them all smile.’ I wondered why they are not smiling. I could not understand why. They have everything, they are comfortable, they have good fur coats, they have gloves, they should be happy!
Then I had this project where people went and gave roses to strangers saying, ‘I belong to you’, or just smiling at them. We had a project, ‘Smile Europe’. We just went around collecting smiles; just smile! Friendliness you know, we used to call ourselves friends of the people of the world. Connect to everybody in the world.
First of all connect to yourself. When you go deep in yourself and let go of all the anxiety and know that you are loved by the universe you get inner strength. The universe loves you, air loves you, space loves you, the sun and moon love you. 
So you are surrounded by that energy of love and you’ll just melt in meditation and that is what gives that inner strength; so solid, child-like again. Free from inhibitions, free from worries, being natural!
All these wonderful qualities just blossom in you because they are already there. You have put a big stone on the beautiful flower that you are, the stone of stress and ignorance and so it is suffocating. You simply have to lift that up, what do you say? Yes? 
See one thing is for sure, everyone is going to die! We are all going to die. One day we will all be gone, horizontal under the ground. As long as we are, we are just bickering for this and hankering for that. Why not we wake up and see. Be calm, life is short.
Who am I? What is this world all about? These questions, these ponderings can bring that inner strength. You may not get 100% answers, you may not get all the answers but at least it can give that inner strength which is absolutely necessary. Yes?

Should we decide whom to help and whom not to?

Yes! You should see whom to help and whom you should not help. Sometimes people can emotionally blackmail you asking for help and take advantage of you. You don’t have to agree to that. When you want to help, it should be separate from your emotional outburst. If you think that whatever help that you are doing really helps the person, only then you help.

Suppose someone has to go to a doctor and take treatment and the person says, ‘No please help me to get out of this hospital, I don’t want to take treatment here’, and you help him, are you really helping him? No, you are not because that person has to get treatment.

Someone in the mental hospital says get me out of here. Patients in the mental hospital are not always gone, sometimes they are sane. They talk also sane, so sometime they may tell you I want to get out of here and you help them, what will happen? The worst!

See children, sometimes they don’t want to go to school. They say get me out of the boarding school. If you go by their wish, will they be able to complete their education? Impossible! Right? 

So you need to distinguish between what is right help and which help would make a person go in the wrong path. This we must realize. Isn’t it?

How to find motivation for morning sadhana?

I will give you so much motivation and so many ideas that it is good for this and this and this, but then when you are lethargic then you say, oh I know it is all good but... You pull the blanket on and then you go back to sleep. 

That is why I don’t insist you do morning sadhana only. Whenever it is possible you do it. And if you take a vow to do it for short periods of time then the thing is on track. Okay I am going to do it for ten days from tomorrow; one week sadhana. Then you pray and say if I do sadhana for fifteen days let my job be done. I should get my job done and so I should do fifteen days of sadhana. Then when you do it you will see, the fifteen days for which you had taken a determination to do sadhana, you will do it. 

But, if you say forever let me do it, sometimes you don’t even do it the next day. So it is good to do it for a short spell of time you know. That is a way to cultivate the habit, number one.

Three things that help you break bad habits and cultivate good ones

Three things help you to break bad habits and cultivate good habits. Do you know what they are? Love, fear and greed. 

If someone tells you, if you do your meditation, your exercise for one whole month, you will get so much luck that you will get a million dollars; you will not miss even a day. I will get that much luck to get one million dollars; why do sadhana for one month, I will do it for two months. You will say this.

Greed will help you to continue a practice or break off a bad habit. Someone tells you, if you stop smoking for forty days then you will get a lottery of one million euros. You will not miss even one day of those forty days, you will do it for even sixty days, isn’t it. Greed can help to motivate you.

In the ancient days they knew this. That is why they did different techniques and poojas and all that and in the end of all that you get the fruit of it. What will happen if you do it? Phalashruti, the fruit of it.

They would say, if you do this then you will get this and this; you children will be happy, you will become prosperous, your health will become better and if you are not married you will find a good husband or wife. They used to give all these temptations so that you do the practice which is good for you.

Now the second this is fear. This is of course used in many countries. If you don’t do this you will go to hell and you are really scared. If you don’t stop drinking alcohol, you liver is going to collapse, you are going to die. Or if you don’t stop smoking you are going to get some big disease. When doctor says this then you will not do that. The doctor has said alcohol is very bad for my health, I should not do it.

In many religions people say, you should not do anything else or you will go to hell. If you do yoga you will go to hell and you think, oh my God then I don’t want to do yoga. Fear stops people from doing good and doing bad.

And third is love. Someone who you love a lot, or someone who loves you a lot and you also love them, if they tell you, look you should come with me to do a silence program, a course, you will not say no. You will say, "Okay". 

If someone who loves you very much tells you, ‘Do meditation with me’ or if they tell you, ‘You should not smoke’, then for their sake you will stop.

So love, fear and greed can stop you from bad habits and make you do some good things. I would prefer love rather than fear and greed, yes!

The religions in the east used greed, the religion in the west have used fear to promote. In the east they have used greed, the common man is told you will get liberation if take a dip in the Ganga and all that. And in the west, fire or hell and all that fear. In the west they have been promoting this faith and believe system. I would prefer only love, not fear, not greed. But if it works sometime you do it, doesn’t matter.

The act of doing nothing is as important as the act of doing something

When you get too concerned, ‘oh I have to improve the world; that is not ok, this is not ok, that is not ok’, and then what is happening? Your mind gets too much caught up in that and you are losing your energy, your strength, your balance, everything. Then you are not going to make the world a better place. 
At that time you should remember, okay I will make seven million people good in the world now, but then what? After a hundred years there will be a different seven million people. You can’t correct them, you won’t be here. 
So when you are getting tired then you should know, well the Divine is taking care; I am not going to impact a change. Then you are able to be calm and strong.
So there are two attitudes, one is pravriti action, when you find this is not ok, this is not ok and that is not okay and then you act. And then nivriti action when you say everything is okay, everything takes its time, everything has its one role. Then it is nivriti, then you retire and when you retire, when you get into your being you get energy. Then you are able to meditate, you are able to tap into your source by doing nothing. So the act of doing nothing is as important as the act of doing something.
So these two attitudes you need to balance, everything okay and nothing is okay. Is it clear?
When you are in this world you have to do something, and you are given a job to improve this world that you have to do. But don’t think you are the person who is going to bring perfection and keep it forever, that is what I am saying. You cannot maintain perfection. You cannot keep this hall clear forever, but you have a duty to clean this now, correct?
So similarly we need to improve our world, definitely. It is our sacred job, but at the same time, suppose you are not there, somebody else will improve it. So don’t feel the burden on your head, ‘Oh! I have to improve it’, but at the same time be responsible, ‘Yes I need to improve it’. Do you get the balance? Is it clear now?
You are assigned a job to improve this world, definitely. At the same time, whoever has assigned, they know if you cannot do it, they will assign it to somebody else. That supreme power will know.
See, suppose you are a head of a team, you give the job to somebody and that somebody does half job and then they are so tired that they become sick, and then what do you do? You say, ‘No, you go rest. I will send someone else to do the job’. But as long as they did the job they had been very committed to it. 
In the same way you have been assigned a job, you have to do it. At the same time don’t feel that mental pressure because the boss is taking care of it, yes! As long as you know there is a boss and you are connected with the boss you feel you can tell that I can do this much and I cannot do this much. Not like the modern day bosses who don’t care for people working under them. 
What I am saying is the Divinity, the nature itself is your boss, the Divine is the boss and knows, okay, you can do this much, then do this much, otherwise rest. There is compassion, think of a compassionate boss who says, ‘Okay if it is difficult, never mind, don’t worry. Okay? Good!'

Need to talk to the Guru

Yes, come and talk to me. I know many questions are anyway stupid but never mind, just come and talk to me about anything.

See when our connection is much deeper, then just a little bit of talking doesn’t hurt at all. I don’t base my judgment on what you say, what you talk, not at all. You know in all these years I have never said any bad thing about anybody, not once. Have I? Anybody who knows me will know. No, never do that. It is not that I did a great thing, it is in my nature, I can’t. If at all I some negativity about somebody, if I feel they are getting entangled or it is not going to be good for them, then I say, ‘you know, he is not so focused’, that’s all I would say.

‘And this person is not suitable and he is not doing well and he is telling too many lies’, if he is telling lies only, otherwise I won’t say that. But I have not done any special thing to have this; this is just there from the beginning, nature.

What I am saying is you don’t judge yourself too much, just be natural. If you just feel like saying hello or hi, just come and talk. And you if feel it is not needed then no need, okay. 

Don’t just keep these things, ‘Oh, Guruji looked at that person and patted him on his back, he hugged that person, but he didn’t look at me’, these are all immaterial. Whether I look at you and say hi or no, we are all connected from a very deep level.

How does one find "balance"

You are balanced, take it from now, I am telling you are balanced and move with that. If you think you don’t have the balance, then you struggle more, got it?

Look back and see how much you have grown, there is so much balance that has come in your life, yes. Very good!

Okay now, people the way they are, we simply need to accept them. Some are incorrigible, some people you cannot correct them. Some come and some go and I give them a long rope; I give them enough chances to reform. If they don’t then it is their problem and why should we get upset over it.

Are you getting what I am saying? Yes? And so, from your side feel that inner freedom but don’t shut your door to anybody, keep interacting, what do you say?

Why is India called Karmabhumi?

Karmabhumi means where you are here to do action. You come here to get rid of all your karma

And how do you get rid of the karma? Through knowledge. Every part of the world has some specialty. You go to a Scandinavian country and that is known for skiing. You can’t ski in Bangalore. Bangalore is known for chow chow, you know the bulb type vegetable which they cook here. It is so delicious; you don’t get it anywhere else in the world. So nature has put some specialty everywhere.

India has been a spiritual land for a long, long, long time, for millennia. Spiritual knowledge has gone to the world from India. Spiritual knowledge always relieves you from karma and brings freedom and so it is called karmabhumi. But if there is no spiritual knowledge it will no longer be a karmabhumi.

You know Switzerland is known for watches and chocolates. But if other countries are making better chocolates and better watches, Swiss will lose its charm for chocolates and watches.

Similarly Canada is known for maple syrup. You can’t get maple syrup anywhere else in the world. Do you know maple syrup? Many of you have not even heard about it, because we have never heard about maple syrup in this country. Even if you go to Kashmir where there are maple trees, but nobody knows about maple syrup. 

So every part of the world has some specialty and India has been endowed with this special gift of spiritual knowledge. That’s why Jesus came here and stayed for twelve years in Mylapore area and learned spirituality. And then went back to teach people. And Muhammad said, ‘I get cool breeze from the east’, from India. So from ages spirituality has found its roots in this country but it is fast vanishing. We need to water it and keep it up, okay?

How does one balance wisdom and emotions and avoid depression?

When you feel you are getting into depression it is wisdom that takes you out of it. It is emotion that sinks you into depression and it is wisdom which takes you out of the depression.

At least you had this intention to ask the question. Wanting to know the answer itself shows there is some wisdom there.

Often depressed people don’t talk at all. They don’t answer, they don’t ask questions and they don’t want to do anything. But this is good, you have this much wisdom that you wanted to ask this question. You wanted to get out of depression. You are already out of it, okay!

Do Sudarshan Kriya and some more advance courses and you will easily come out completely.

How does one connect to the Source?

Don’t see the Source as something far away and try to connect to the source. Just relax! Whenever you relax you are the Source. In the spiritual plane, only relaxation, doing nothing, connects you to the Source.

Mind and body works on completely different laws. Body works on effort. To build muscles you will need to put in effort effort. But to improve your memory the more effort you put, you will drain your memory power. For memory power what do you have to do? Relax more, rest more.

So the mind works on relaxation and effortlessness and the body works on effort. And this is the beauty, this is the combination.

Mind is infinite, body is finite and life is a combination of finite and infinite.

Significance of numbers

Every number is associated with something sacred and has sacredness to it. That’s why when the Rudrabhishekam is done, all the numbers are said.
Number 1 and 2 are very sacred. Number 3 is also sacred. Number 3 is associated with so many things, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh; satva, rajas and tamas; vata, pitta and kapha; morning, afternoon and evening; present, past and future. So number 3 is very sacred.
Then number 4 is more sacred. The four directions; the four Vedas has so much sacredness attached to it. The most sacred of the symbols, Swastika, has four corners. 
Then number 5, the five elements which are very sacred; the five organs of senses; five organs of perceptions; five organs of action. Pancha Devata, there are five important categories of Devatas. A village panchayat has only five members and so 5 is very sacred. 
Then comes 6, Shad Darshanas, the six systems of Hindu philosophy; Shadangas, the six angas are very important. Then the sixth sense, you say the mind is the sixth sense.
Then 7; seven swaras, seven chakras, seven days of the week, seven planets.
8 has its own sacredness, Ashta Dikpalakas, are the eight divine entities ruling eight quarters or the universe, Ashtadhatu, eight metals which are very essential for the body. Ashtalakshmi, the eight types of wealth. So 8 has its own significance. 
Coming to 9, Navagrahas; Navaratna, nine gems; Navaratri, nine nights. In nine months a child is born. There are nine types of bhakti
10 and 11 is also sacred. No number is left which is not sacred. In the West number 13 is considered unholy, but in India no number is considered unholy or unlucky. All the numbers are good numbers. Every number has some significance, some glory attached to it.

What is Prayaschit?

Prayas’ means become young again. ‘Chit’ means your mind becoming young again. Your chitta, mind or consciousness becomes old when it is bogged down by regrets. To remove the regrets becoming new and young again is what prayaschit is. 

I did a mistake, never mind now I am going to chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and do my pranayama. Pranayama is the best prayaschit and when you do pranayama all that energy that is bogged down wakes up.

Should we or shouldn't we share our feelings with others?

Yes, you can share your feelings but don’t dwell on them too much. 

Observe if by you sharing your feelings whether you are doing any good to yourself or your loved ones. Suppose you are not feeling good and you keep telling your friends that, are they going to help you in anyway? 

If you have fever, and you share that with a doctor, he will give you some medication. But if you just keep telling your mother, grandmother and your friends who are not doctors, it is not going to help you in anyway. 

Share those feelings that uplift people. Don’t share those feelings for which no one can help you. Share them only with those who can help you, someone elderly or someone you can trust. With them you can share and take guidance. 

That is why with a teacher, a guide or a Guru you can share all your feelings.

How did Lord Krishna explain all the 700 shlokas in the Bhagavad Gita on the battle field?

Sometimes you don’t need so many words to communicate. Communication happens faster, but when written it becomes longer.

In those days wars would go on for many days. Mahabharata war also went on for many days and the preparations were for many days. So it is possible that Lord Krishna spent one whole afternoon in brainwashing Arjuna.

Since Arjuna thought he knew everything, Lord Krishna had to talk to him and convince him in many different ways. So it is not an impossibility.

When you feel weak and are in tears...

When you feel weak, I am with you as your strength; you are not alone. Whenever you feel weak, know that you are not alone. 

Be clear with what you want in your life and what you want to do. Then plan and move on those plans. 

Sitting and crying, being emotional is not going to help. Wake up and see this is the world and the world has its own metrics. See how you can move forward.

Blissed out or blessed

You cannot be blissed out if you are not blessed. 

My dear everything has its place. Eyes have its place, ears have its place; we do not need to go into comparisons. 

You are riding a motor bike and you are wearing a shirt that has buttons. Just imagine all the buttons are gone while you are riding. What will happen? The shirt will fly to your face and you will hit something. It could cause a fatal accident. 

So how important are the buttons on your shirt? It is as important as your own life. It can save your life!

Easy way to deal with confusion

I know you have a lot of confusion. 

There is a Chinese proverb that says, ‘The best thing to do when you are so confused is to take a pillow and go to bed.’ 

When you are so confused any choice you make, you will think something else is better. So leave it to nature and go to bed. Then whatever falls into your lap that is what your choice is, just accept it. 

This is what Chinese people do and they are doing well.

What are the commitments required to continue our practice such as seva, satsang and sadhana?

Just let it become your nature. If something is your nature, you do not need commitment. You need commitment when it is not your nature and when you want to cultivate it. 

Know that it is your nature to come and sit in satsang. In the morning as soon as you wake up do some bhastrika and meditate; make it your nature. Once you think it is your nature then you will continue to do it. Then you cannot be without it.
That is what happens when habits become so strong. One thinks it is in their nature, in their blood. One does not think it is a commitment to smoke cigarettes, but they think it is in their blood; their body needs it to survive.
So I want you to feel sadhana as your very nature, as part of you.

Understanding how opposite values are complimentary

In a movie there is a villain and there is a hero. Now because of the villain, the hero becomes the hero.

Somebody had to lose for you to win.

Just understand that much. You do not have to do anything with it, just listening is enough.

Avoiding depression

You are going into depression because you want too much, too quickly, too soon, and there is no energy to get it. That could be the reason for depression.

See life from a broader perspective. If you listen to knowledge and live the knowledge, then you cannot be depressed. Listen to the Ashtavakra GitaAnyone who has a little bit of dispassion cannot go into depression. Lack of dispassion is the cause of depression.

Pranayama, kriya and meditation will get you out of this.

Saving the nation, together

The job is not just mine. We all will do it together. 
Bring about a wave in the nation of happiness, joy, sincerity, this is very necessary. A wave of spirituality should definitely come up. And those youngsters who are willing to work with me, I need them to do work in the society. We will go to each area and we will do work to reform the society. 
Two years ago we had started ‘Save Yamuna’ project and it is not done yet. More people should join that movement. There are 18 streams that are flowing into it. Those who are interested should come together and pressurize the government to clean it.
Read Celebrating Silence, meditate and do Sudarshan Kriya. Each one of you is a treasure of knowledge and love. I want to tell you about pravriti and nivriti. A satvik intellect will know pravriti and nivriti
When you are going to do a job, you need to identify the problems in it and make it alright. When we are doing meditation, we need to accept that everything is fine. God has made everything fine. Then the meditation will be deep.  
But we do the opposite. When we work, we think, this will be like this only, what we can do and we become lazy. But when we are doing meditation all the complaints come up in the mind. Then both rest and work are not happening properly. 
So when work has to happen, see the problems and with enthusiasm do the work. When you are meditating, have the feeling that everything is alright; God will make everything alright, I am just a tool. 
When you are resting deeply, you will be successful in your work. So this is a satvik intellect that recognizes pravriti and nivriti.
Same way, accept the past as destiny. Whatever has happened, it has happened. Think of the future as free will and be in the present moment. It is foolishness thinking that past was free will and future as destiny. 
An intelligent person thinks that past is destiny, future is free will and is in the present moment.
I want all the youth to make a commitment with me that we will bring a transformation in society and in ourselves as well. In a country where the youth has awakened, the country also has awakened. I am so pleased that so many youth are so connected and so joyful.

Why do we worship Buddha, even though he shirked his responsibilities and ran away from his family

When Buddha ran away he was ignorant. He was seeking, he was depressed and upset. Without knowing the reality of life he felt life is meaningless. 

In that state of low energy, depression, he went on seeking. 

Once he found, he returned back. He took great responsibility not just of his family, but for the entire world, the whole society. When Siddhartha became Buddha he came back to the society and for 40 years he traveled around and did great work.

What does one have to do to meet God

We get Ram in vishram

You have to rest and deep rest is called meditation. By doing anything you cannot get God but when you rest you will get God.

Rest will happen only when all the desires of the mind are settled and in order to settle the rajasic and tamasic desires of the mind, we have to do seva

After doing seva, meditate and in that rest, you will get God.

Why is there only one God in all religions and in Hindu religion there are so many?

God likes variety. God did not just make egg plant or just potatoes. Just imagine having only potatoes all your life. 

He made different types of interesting vegetables. When God has made so many different types of vegetables, different types of flowers for you, would the same God like to be in one uniform? He will be wearing different types of costumes. 

And so he will manifest in different names and different forms. He has the right to do that. 

He who likes variety and has created so many varieties of forms also is available in different names and forms. That is why we say one God but with different names and different forms. That is why they say, see ‘One’ in everyone, and see everyone in that ‘One’. This is what is ‘Vishwaroop Darsan’, where Krishna showed Arjuna that everything was in him. ‘Rudra, Shiva, Ganapati, it is me who is present in all forms.’ 
So do not think Gods as separate from one another. God is only one, but there are different Devatas.
Just like how one cell becomes the human body. A drop of semen and one egg joined together forms one cell. From this one cell the human body is formed, but in this there are 33 different aspects. One aspect becomes the eyes, one aspect becomes the ears, and one becomes the throat and tongue. The textures are so different. 
Your nails are different from your eyes and eyes are different from your ears. These are Devatas. That is what the ancient people have said; in our body Devatas are present. In each organ there is a Devata which means divine quality. All these divine qualities, all these Devatas are one God’s manifestation. These are 33 chromosomes derived from the one cell. That is why our ancestors have spoke about 33 crore Devatas.

Changing the world by changing yourself - II

I would say that we should all focus our attention on some issues.
The foremost among them is a corruption-free society that we all need to envision. Corruption begins right where belongingness ends. One does not behave in a deceitful manner with their own people. The corrupt accept bribes from people they do not consider their own. We want to sacrifice ourselves for those whom we consider our very own, and we want to grab from those with whom we feel separateness.
Spirituality is where no one is a stranger. It is the mantra of love and the absence of separateness from anyone; where no one is an outsider.
So we need to envision a corruption-free society. Law is necessary, but that law alone can abolish corruption; I am not willing to believe. We all will have to join hands and, to begin with, take an oath not to give or accept bribes.
Next is female foeticide. We have to put an end to female foeticide. In this country we have always believed that man and woman are equal - God's one half is Shakti. Shiva Shaktyayukto Yadi Bhavati Shatah Prabhavitum.
You must have heard of the concept of 'Ardha Nareshwar', it is so scientific. In every individual both elements exist, the female and the male. Committing female feticide or any act of violence against women is a very bad thing to do. We have to stop it.
The third issue is alcohol. Nowadays, alcohol has acquired the status of God in India. People drink in sorrow and people drink when they are happy. They drink at weddings, and when someone dies to forget the departed. When the election is won, alcohol flows, and when it is lost, then too alcohol is there - it has become excessive.
It is being said that the sale of alcohol has risen in our society. Addiction has gone out of bounds. We have to protect ourselves from this. The only way to save us is if we experience a greater euphoria than alcohol - that which one can get in our midst.
If you sit in satsang, you experience such a high that is hard to get over. One can afford to remain in that high as one doesn't have to spend anything, and one's health is also protected.

This universe has five qualities: naam, roop, asti, bhati and preeti. This entire universe is name (naam) and form (roop); everything has a name and a form, and consciousness (asti), which is experienced (bhati) and whose nature is love (preeti).
Go to any corner of the world and look into the eyes of a child - you will find nothing but love. Every child born in this world is an image of love and a treasure of joy and smiles. A child smiles all day long. And as it grows up, no one knows where the love disappears, and the smile vanishes.

The meaning of education is to save the smile and spread the love. Both you and I have died several times; I remember, whether you remember or not, I do not know. When we die, only two questions appear before us: how many people have you shared love with, and how much knowledge have you gained.

Knowledge does not mean information, it means awareness. So we have named this process of gaining awareness, and sharing love, the Art of Living. Putting together certain techniques, various programs such as Yes+, ART Excel, etc., were created so that people might find it easy to learn.

Too much knowledge all at once cannot be digested. Knowledge should be given in small doses, like in a five course dinner: first the appetizer, then the soup, then the mail meal and in the end dessert. This way we can digest the food.
It has been thirty years since the Art of Living began. This world is one family - this dream has been realized today. This was a very ancient dream of our Rishis. It is inscribed in our parliament also, ‘Gananda laghu chetasaam udara charitaanaam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam'.

In our country this knowledge and this tradition has been there since eternity. There are such beautiful and timeless truths that we have overlooked, and neither learnt nor implemented in our lives. Application of this knowledge keeps our body healthy, mind at ease and happy, sharpens the intellect, and there is such a feeling of peace within!
If you all ask me Guruji, what do you want? Why you are doing all these things and why are you holding these satsangs? Why are you traveling to all these places? Shall I tell you my secret, why I am doing all this? I want to see an India where there is no violence. Where in every individual there is creativity and joy. I want to see a divine society. I want to create a violence-free and trouble-free society.

How many of you are with me in this? We all have to come together and bring about the divine society till the time we are in this world. We have to do things in such a way that we should leave behind a beautiful society for the next generations. When we leave this world behind, we should leave it better than how we got it.

What do you think? One day or the other, we are going to die. So for today’s younger generation we have to give a better society. Will you all work together for this? Yes?!
Just look around whoever is not raising their hands up! Just ask them, ‘what is the problem!’

Changing the world by changing yourself - I

If we change ourselves, we can change our environment, our society and this world. First and foremost, it will have to start within us. Such a smile should blossom from within us that can never fade, cannot be robbed - this is knowledge. To sit in an effort to gain this knowledge is satsang.
'God knows Guruji, how many lifetimes it will take for me to gain this awareness' - do not harbor these thoughts. Now that you have come to my satsang, believe that you have already gained it. Once you are on the train, know that you will reach the destination. That is for sure. 
Being human we all have certain needs and certain responsibilities. Tonight when you go home, sit down and make a list of all your needs and responsibilities. If your needs are more than your responsibilities, there will be unhappiness in life, guaranteed! If our responsibilities are more than our needs, life will be peaceful. What we need to do is reduce our desires and take on more responsibility. 
And when in our life, personal needs disappear and desires no longer exist; an extraordinary, mystical ability is awakened within us that enables us to bless others. When we do not want anything for ourselves, we develop the strength to fulfill the desires of others. This is the second step you have to climb. 
First, become aware of your desires and reduce them and whatever is left, have the confidence that by God's grace they will be fulfilled. The next step is, 'I need nothing.' 
When you need nothing, you will become so strong that whatever you say to anyone will become a boon to them. If you bless anyone, it will manifest. I do not have any desires or demands and this happened naturally. I want that you also view things this way. 
Turn back and look, how our country was; how Delhi was 200 or 500 years ago. In a hundred years from now, if you were to be reborn in the same family, or in a neighbor's family, what kind of world would you like to see? What kind of Delhi or what kind of Yamuna would you like to see? What kind of environment and atmosphere would you like to grow up in? Just think about it. It is then that we realize that we need to take up some responsibility for our society. 
May there be a greater sense of morality and may we be useful to one another – we will have to create such an atmosphere. If it cannot be done alone, we all can join together and do it. 8, 10, 15 or 20 people should get together and take up any social cause. We want a violence-free society that nurtures a sense of belongingness. A society where we are useful to one another, where there is a feeling of love and understanding amongst neighbors and a mutual sense of respect. Don’t you want that? 
Of course you do! But what responsibility have you taken on for it? Now think about it.

There is some element within us that does not perish, that does not die.

Life is eternal; we never give a thought to this truth. 

When someone dies we declare that the person is immortal, but the truth is we ourselves are immortal. That is why we do not feel that we have grown old. 

No matter how old a person is, he feels he is never going to die. This feeling is always there. If someone else dies, we say, ‘that poor fellow died.' Everyone else dies but I don't; this is the feeling which goes on. There is a stream (awareness) within us that cannot be destroyed, which is undying. 

To acknowledge and observe that stream is spirituality. Such courage, such strength, such solidity comes in life that nothing can shake you, no one can shake you. It is a subtle stream - 'I have not changed, I have not grown old, I am just the same.'

When you examine your life, the observing of life is spirituality; it is satsangSatsang is not just singing bhajans, but pondering the truths of life.

What is the most important truth of life? There is some element within us that does not perish, that does not die. There is something within that does not diminish, is inerasable, unchanging and undying. If even the slightest attention is directed to it, life becomes easy and uncomplicated.

The second truth - everything changes. Body changes, mind changes, intellect changes, thoughts change, and everything is changing.

What IS the art of living?

The art of living is keeping your mind under control even in adverse conditions and being in equanimity and then accepting people as they are. 

Not everyone will be like you, but do not go away from the relationship because they are different, and have a different kind of thought processes. Whatever the kind of person, accept them as they are and whatever way we can be of use to them, be that.

Third point is, do not be a foot ball of others’ opinions.

Fourth is, if someone makes a mistake, do not see an intention behind it. Do not think that they have done the mistake purposely. Just the way it happened because of you, same way it happened because of the other person as well. In this way, see the personality behind the mistake, recognize it and have compassion towards such person.

And the fifth one is live in the present moment. Learn from the past and plan for the future but live in the present. Whatever is there in this moment take advantage of it. Do not sit and keep on thinking about the future and do not have anger towards the past and punish yourself.

The Art of Living is based on just these five points.

Can a devotee get angry at the Guru?

Yes, a devotee can be angry, no problem. It is very safe to be angry with the Guru. 

Tell me, does anger ask you before it coming? No! You get angry and then later on you feel guilty; I should have not gotten angry. 

So don’t try to justify your anger at that time. You got angry because at that time you were ignorant, never mind, move on!

Changing the system without upsetting those with us

For that you should have skill. 

Truth does not mean rudeness. Often people who think they are just being truthful are very rude. Rudeness blocks communication and can disturb the harmony. 

It also destroys the sense of listening. For anybody to hear you, you should have their ears first for listening. If you block the listening however correct you are it just doesn’t get absorbed. They don’t take it. 

So to buy someone’s ear you should not be rude. And if you are rude you cannot buy someone’s ear. You can be firm but you cannot afford to be rude. And often we don’t know the line between firmness and rudeness. That is the problem.