Celebration in silence

Often people who are celebrating cannot appreciate silence. And those who enjoy silence don't celebrate. They don't look that joyful and celebrative. People who are in silence are very morose and melancholic. But our speciality is, we can be in silence and yet celebrate. This is so beautiful. A great way to welcome the new year!
The past year with all its events has brought us together. It has posed many challenges which made us strong in some ways, and with many of its gifts, it has made us happy in many ways.
No year passes without some wisdom. So like every year, the year which has just passed, has also given us some wisdom; has made us wiser. Now we need to move on.
Time is like a flowing river. Even with a river you can put a dam, but you can't stop it totally. If the river is gushing, it will overflow the dam as well. So you have to leave it. You can only store a certain amount of water, but with time, that is not possible.
Time is like a fast flowing river. Time is like the wind which nobody can stop. Time is like the Sun around which the Earth revolves. Time is like our mind, ancient, yet very fresh and very new. Our mind is very ancient, yet very fresh and new.
So the celebration of New Year is to honour time. Honouring time means honoring the mind, and honoring the mind means honouring yourself. And the way to honour yourself, is to know that you are neither a culprit, nor a victim.
What stops you from honoring yourself? When you think you are a culprit, you did something wrong. You carry guilt in you and think you are a sinner. If you are a sinner you can never celebrate yourself. You can never be at peace with yourself. It will always eat you up deep inside. Only when you get out of the culprit consciousness, the guilt consciousness, there is peace and there is spiritual light within you.
You should know that there is light inside of you; you are part of the light, and part of Universal Love. Yes, you are a spark of Universal Love.
Every individual wants to experience this universal love; to be a part of it, a spark of it, and that can only happen when you are out of culprit consciousness.
The other thing is victim consciousness. If you feel you are a victim, you can never express truth, you can never express the Divinity. The purpose of being here is to express all facets of life, i.e., love, joy and wisdom. And to fully express life is celebration. These are all the different facets of life and you are here to express that. But if you feel that you are a victim of situations, of time and of other people, you can never do that.
So how to get over the victim consciousness? Know that all the unpleasant experiences in life has given some depth to you and thank them. And the pleasant experiences have a given you an opportunity to do more service for people, and thank them too.
Life is always a mixture. We must thank the unpleasant days, because it has centered us. Nobody gets more centered than one in unpleasant situations. Unpleasant things take you out of the external and puts you with yourself; so that gives you depth, and it adds to your personality.
So instead of saying, 'Oh I wasted 20 years of my life', or, 'That person created some problem for me', drop all that and say, 'I thank all those bitter days cause they gave me strength, and I thank all the pleasant days that made me realize my true potential, and helped me express my true nature which is joy'. By thanking the pleasant and the unpleasant, we get over the victim consciousness.

This world is full of goodness

Do not blame the world or curse the people around you. They are all a part of God’s wonderful creation. Everything here has a purpose, and everything here is to make you stronger – be it friends or enemies. There are flower spreads, and there are thorns as well – both to make you blossom from deep within.
Focus on yourself and your own experience; do not get caught in meaningless random talks of others. Then your experience will feel true and deep.
Open your eyes and see – there are only good people everywhere. Even the few wicked ones that you see around you are actually good-natured at heart. They are not really wicked, they are just unfortunate and their luck is not yet in their favour – which is why they resort to wrong deeds.
If you see from my eyes, you will only see that this world is full of goodness, and everyone and everything in the world belongs to us.

Health and limitations of the human body

We never notice how healthy we are. Rather we keep focussing on the small diseases and problems in life and become miserable. It is not possible that someone can be unwell all the time, or since birth. If that were the case, then such a person will not be able to come all the way to the ashram and speak during the satsang. So do not think that you have had to take a lot of trouble to come here. You are already very healthy and are smiling too. You need to bring a change in your mentality, and your outlook in life.
See, the body has its own limitations but you must be strong in your heart. Sometimes in life you may suffer pain, or some disease, or meet with an accident. That is the nature of the body, and it is alright. Continue doing your seva, sadhana and satsang and everything will be alright soon.
This is why we have kept all types of facilities in the Ashram, to sustain and boost a person’s health, whether it is through Ayurveda, or the other techniques that we have that can help relieve the body from illness. The main point here is that you need to keep your mind healthy and happy.

Significance of Guru Pooja

Guru Pooja is an ancient sanskrit invocation, which invites the ascended and enlightened masters to enter your space. The way the mantra is stated , there is no choice but for these divine energies to answer the call of Guru Pooja. As you give yourself to the process of this invocation, your energy aligns with the divine and as a result your vibration raises in wonderful ways.

Practicing Guru Pooja on a regular basis will bring a different quality to your life. It awakens your inner divinity, allowing you to access peaceful and blissful feelings throughout your day. It is a powerful tool used by many yoga practitioners and we would like to offer to you this opportunity to bring it into your daily life.

A sanskrit chant with 36 verses. Within this mantra there are 16 ways In which we invoke the divine through powerful ceremony and ritual. It is a way to make yourself like an offering to the divine while you receive the blessings that this invocation brings. It is a way to consecrate sacred space in your environment , your home and around your sacred altar.

Dharma and Adharma

Shakti (Mother Divine) is present in both Dharma and Adharma. Otherwise, Ravana (the demon king of Lanka) would not have had the power to stand up against Lord Rama. He was strong and powerful, which is why he could gather might to stand against Lord Rama.

In the same way, if the demon Mahishasura did not have any power, he would not have been able to face Goddess Durga. Is it not so?

A war always takes place between opponents of equal power and skill. A 50-year old man would not wrestle or fight a five year old child.

When the Samudra Manthan (referring to the event of the churning of Kshirsagar, the great ocean by the demigods and the demons) took place, there were the Devas (demigods) on one side, and the Asuras (demons) on the other side. It is because they were both equal to each other in power that they could churn the ocean using the great serpent Vasuki. If the power of the Asuras had been greater than that of the Devas, then they would have simply pulled the Devas to their side. And if the Devas had been mightier, then the Asuras would have gotten pulled to their side. But that is not so. They are both equal in strength, which is why sometimes the Devas win, and sometimes it is the Asuras win.

Sometimes Dharma triumphs, and sometimes Adharma triumphs. It depends on who wins. When Dharma wins over Adharma, we say that it is Satya Yuga (the Golden Age; the epoch of time characterized by goodness and prevalence of morality). 

When Adharma triumphs, we say that it is Kaliyuga (the Dark Age; the epoch of time characterized by immorality and downfall of human values).

Who wins in the end of this conflict is decided by Kaal (time).

When the Sattva (wisdom and righteousness) is more, then surely Dharma wins over Adharma. When there is predominance of Rajoguna (activity and passion) and Tamoguna (negativity and inertia), then Adharma wins in the end.

A conflict implies a battle between two equals. Now, the Para-Shakti (referring to the Mother Divine as the primordial energy that creates and sustains all of creation) transcends this conflict and is much higher than it. What is Para-Shakti? It is One without duality or conflict. All are equal and the same before that divine power.

Developing Intuitive Abilities

You can develop your intuition through regular meditation.

When the mind is free of cravings, aversions and distortions, then it settles and becomes sharper. That is when intuition develops. But if your mind is constantly stuck in desires about something or another, then it does not happen. When your mind settles and becomes still, then these abilities develop in you.

Just today I remembered that towards the end of August 2011, I had said that Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal will not stay together (in the fight against corruption in India), and they will soon part ways.

In those days when the anti-corruption movement had just begun, no one had even imagined that they would ever part ways. But I felt that they would not stick together for too long.

The Guru (Anna Hazare) and the disciple (Arvind Kejriwal) soon parted ways. Whoever heard me did not believe even for one moment that it could be true. There seemed no possibility of it coming true at all. And just look at the state of affairs today.
One is heading North and the other is headed down South of India.

So, when we are still and quiet, whatever thoughts come in our mind become true and manifest. Everyone has experienced this at some time or another in their life. When you do not desire anything and repose within your Self, then this power simply dawns within you.

Now not desiring anything does not mean you should not wish for everyone’s well-being. No, this you can surely wish and pray for. You should wish and pray for the progress and well-being of everyone around you. This deep desire is equal to having no desire at all.

Meaning of Sankhya Yoga

Sankhya Yoga is to wake up and see that all this does not exist.

There is only One, and everything works through that. See that even thoughts are nothing, everything is just vibrations.

Sankhya Yoga means the soul is eternal. Knowing that there is an element in me, which does not perish, diminish, or age.

Relax knowing that I am not the bodyJust knowing this, and relaxing within the Self is called Sankhya Yoga.

7 Steps to Cope with Frustration

In our day-to-day lives, there are so many situations where we can get frustrated, and when such things happen, there is nothing you can do. Something or the other keeps coming up and we keep getting frustrated.
You want perfection and perfection is not available, and so you get frustrated. You want someone to do things on time and if they don't do it, then you get frustrated. You want things to be done in the way you want, and if it does not happen, you get frustrated – isn't this the case?
In life, you will have 101 reasons to get frustrated. However, it is up to you keep the enthusiasm alive without allowing the frustration to seep in. Here are some pointers to help in dealing with frustration.

#1 If you find any imperfection in another, don’t get frustrated and criticize them, instead volunteer to help them grow

There are some very talented people in the world, but they too have some negative points. Now, if you look only at the minus points, their talents become invisible. When you are looking for perfection everywhere around, I tell you, you forget to see the imperfection inside of you. You want everything to be perfect, but are you perfect? You have to look for that.
When you gain perfection at something, you will stop pointing out imperfections and you will stop getting frustrated about the imperfections of others, and instead contribute to their growth – to help them become perfect.
Everyone has flaws, and everyone has some very good qualities as well. But if you see only flaws, then you will miss out on their plus points. Nobody can become perfect overnight. It is a gradual process, and we need to encourage them to help them get there.

#2 Don’t get too caught up in problems and get frustrated. Know that every problem is temporary.

In the world we inhabit, there is pleasure and there is pain. This is the nature of the world. Some or the other reason will always present itself for you to be upset. Sometimes it could be the behavior of a family member or the behavior of a friend. If the family is okay, then it could be the neighbors who are causing problems. And if the neighbors are also good, then it could be the dogs on the street who keep barking all night, not letting you sleep. And if that isn’t a problem either and there are no problems, then too you are not satisfied. Then you start interfering in the lives of people who have problems, and you try to solve their problems.
So, this life is very mysterious. That’s why it is said that this world is maya (an illusion) and we best not get caught up in it. Because this is what happens – you tend to get caught up in different situations that fill your mind with all kinds of negativities.

#3 Keep your attention focused inwards – on what you are contributing, doing, saying, thinking, feeling

Many times, we get caught up in conflicts with others around us – this person did this to methat person did like this to me. And we lash out at others. If this happens, know that you have lost your center.
To deal with such frustration, the best way is to keep your attention on yourself. Ask yourself – what is my contribution to this world? What have I done for others? How useful have I been to the people around me?
If your thoughts are moving in this direction, then you will not blame or hurt others. Otherwise, you will always find faults in others and slash out at them.

#4 If you catch yourself complaining, become aware and let go of your complaints. Channelize your energy into doing something productive

People who complain are not productive, and people who work hard have nothing to complain about because they are busy working.
Those who are not productive keep finding faults in other people. They find faults in the smallest of things. They are not able to see the good in other people and this leads to so much frustration. We must ensure that we do not let frustration seep into us. Keep busy, be productive!

#5 Blame and praise is part of life – don’t let them put you in a reactive mode

If you live in a society of humans, then it is only natural that sometimes you will be praised and sometimes blamed. Suppose you are working at a company; you cannot expect your boss to behave in a way that is convenient to you all the time. You want perfection in your boss?!
Suppose you have a boss who has a habit of taunting and has taunted you three to four times. You go ahead and label her/him as “hopeless” and you start behaving in the same manner with her/him. Your perception puts you in a reactive mode. You need to correct your perception, and understand that there is imperfection in the world.

#6 Accept people and situations as they are, and be centered

When you accept that things are how they are and people are the way they are, suddenly you find the witness consciousness inside of you dawning and that makes you feel so centered and deep. This doesn't mean that you should not point out anyone’s mistakes and just accept everything as they are. No!
I was driving past Kannakapura Road and I saw garbage on the side of the road and I told my secretary to immediately call the Panchayat. They have been given two vans to pick up the garbage and get it done immediately. We have to keep acting in this way, but without getting into frustration.
It is very easy to wash your hands off and sit in the corner and feel, “I don't have anything to do with all of this” and let things run the way they are running. And it is very easy to get frustrated and keep complaining. But the perfect balance lies in taking action by smartly dealing with frustration.

#7 Consciously choose not to get frustrated, and maintain your inner peace

We keep getting frustrated with others – this is a common occurance. But sometimes we also get frustrated with our own self; we become dissatisfied with our own self, because of small insignificant things. Maintaining equanimity is part of Yoga – come what may, not letting frustration creep into oneself. Then the intellect functions better, the brain functions better, and you get ideas on how to handle different situations.
So, don't get frustrated with people and situations, and don't get frustrated about yourself because you are repeating the same mistakes again and again. Neither will help. This is a very delicate balance – to keep the enthusiasm alive within oneself without allowing frustration to enter. And acting only when and where it is needed.

Why do I attract people who hurt me?

It is not people who hurt you. It is your own foolishness, your own mind, your own vulnerability and your own emotions that entangle you, and make you feel hurt.
Do you think people have no other business, that they want to come and hurt you? Do they get a lottery by hurting you?
What can hurt you? Somebody’s words, somebody’s selfishness, somebody not caring for you. You love somebody and you think they don’t care for you, or you have helped somebody a lot and they do not talk to you, and that hurts.
My dear, wake up and see, is there an intention in them to hurt you? You need to see things from the other side as well. Place yourself in their position
Many times it happens that you never intended to hurt someone, yet they felt hurt by your action. What do you tell these people who feel that you have hurt them? 
You say, ‘I did not mean it, something happened through me. I did not mean to hurt you, but an incident or event happened that gave you an idea that I hurt you’.
Now if you really intended to hurt somebody, then it means you have a deep hurt inside you. Even then, you are worthy of being excused. And, you have to excuse the other person as well.
If someone has hurt you intentionally, you should know that they are sick. What should be your attitude towards someone who is sick? You should be compassionate towards them. 
If someone has not intended to hurt you, it is an unintentional act, then it is your own mistake. You can only blame your own perception, and not them. They are not culprits, it is you who has to ask them for forgiveness, ‘Please forgive me because I mistook you. I thought you intentionally hurt me.’ Then friendship grows.
If someone has scolded you or used harsh words that have hurt you, and they have done it with a very good intention, then you can only thank them. This is because you have only grown stronger by their act.
No parent has raised their children without giving them a piece of their mind, isn’t it? Yet, do you feel, 'Oh, they have hurt me?' They may have used hurtful words, but it has been for our own good.
If a friend has insulted you, knowingly, you can only thank them. This is because they have had the courage to give you their piece of mind, what you needed, otherwise why would they do it? Why would anyone want to hurt you at their own cost? Nobody wants to risk their friendship. 
What should your attitude be? ‘Thank you! You did something good to me, it has made me strong.’ 
It is all in your hands, how you view things; what type of intention you put out there, that will come back to you. If you think that everyone is hurting me, then your own intentions will create similar situations again and again. 
When you wake up and see, 'There is none other than the One, and the One comes to me in many forms. It is all for my growth, for my well-being, for my happiness'. This is because the Universe is so loving, and compassionate towards you. If we can keep this wisdom in our heart, nobody can hurt us. 
In India, there is a proverb, ‘If God is happy with you, He gives you a lot, and if He is very happy with you, then He gives you a slap also.’ This is because every time God gives you a slap, He turns you away from the material world towards Himself; He wants to draw you to Himself. Drop everything and look at Him. That is why He gives you the slap because He is too compassionate and too happy with you. 
Everything is an opportunity in life. If you are happy and comfortable, it is an opportunity for you to recognize the truth and share it. If misery comes your way, make use of that as an opportunity to turn inwards, and become very strong from within, and recognize the truth, the reality of the Universe, i.e., everything is changing, every relation is fleeting. 
All this leads to that one reality, that everything is nothing
Buddha said, ‘Everything is nothing’, and Adi Shankaracharya said, ‘Everything is one thing’. In one thing, there is love, joy, and in nothing, there is peace. 

So the first step is, everything is nothing, then there is peace, and to top it, everything is one thing, that brings love, joy and celebration; that is Vedanta.

Shiva is complete; then why does he get married to Parvati?

This is like asking if God is complete, then why did he create this world. A spider is complete, yet it creates a web by its own saliva, and moves within its own web. Waves rise in the ocean, then where do they go? Are they going somewhere? Why do they rise? Got it? The ocean is complete, yet it comes up with waves.
Shiva and Shakti are the same, that is why the concept of Ardhanareeshwar, who is half Shiva and half Parvati
This is true in all of us. In each one, there is a mother’s DNA and a father’s DNA; a male aspect and a female aspect, and together you become complete. Physically, you may be a woman, but you have your father’s aspect inside of you. Is it that only females are born out of females and males are born out of males? No! Inside each one of you, there is a male aspect and a female aspect. 
Shiva and Shakti are one, yet they are different. Parvati is Shakti (the manifest world, i.e., air, earth, fire, water, air, mind, ego and memory), Shiva is the unmanifest. The form and the formless are married; like your mind is formless, the body is form, and they are married
Yet, it is all just one wave function when you go to Quantum Mechanics; there is no male, no female. However, when you want to have a baby, you cannot say that it is all one Quantum Mechanics, it is different there.
When you want to eat food, Quantum Mechanics does not work there. You should know what to eat and what not to eatn correct? So, the world of differences and the world of unity co-exist, yet they are different. That is why it is said that the unmanifest Shiva Tatva has no parallel, there is no two; it is complete
As Shiva, as a male energy, it is consciousness; then there is female energy, i.e., the manifest universe or the body. When you talk about body and mind, then there are two things, the manifest and the unmanifest. But when you talk about atoms or wave function in Quantum Mechanics, it is all just one vibration. 
When you watch television, you see an episode, but if you see it from another angle, you perceive electronic waves. On the other side, you are seeing an episode, and getting some information; they are not opposite. In fact, they are interwoven in nature. 
This is a little bit scientific; if it does not go in, just relax. At some time, you may get it.
PIf you are a Physics student or interested in Physics, then you will catch it easily.
That is why in ancient India, one had to first understand the five elements. They would say that you do not worry about atman (soul), self or God; save that for a later time. First, learn about the five elements and their special permutations. 
Several years ago, a nuclear scientist had come to the Bangalore ashram. In a satsang, I spoke about the five elements. He said that nobody knew about the fifth element; scientists discovered the fifth element recently. The Greeks knew of only four elements.
I told him that he did not know of the Indian philosophy. Since ancient times, they have spoken of five elements in India. Then I told him about the three types of space; he was startled to know that. I asked him to read Yoga Vasishta; it is published by New York University Press. This knowledge has been there. 
So, first they would say that one should understand the five elements and then go to the next three, i.e., mind, intellect and ego. Then, you will come to the Self, to God; before that, they would say do not even think about it!