Why does Krishna contradict himself in the Bhagwad Gita?

Krishna says he neither likes anybody nor does he dislike anybody. On the other hand he says some people are very dear to me.

That is Krishna’s specialty, to speak all the opposites and create confusion. 

At different levels of existence and for different incidences he says these statements and both are true.

On one level he says people who are calm, compassionate, happy and loving, I like them the most. So, you are most dear to me - this is true. 

Another time he says, don’t take me for granted, I have no likes and dislikes. Everyone is dear to me and I see myself in everyone.

The Bhagavad Gita is the most contradictory book you will ever read and it is the complete truth because it is so contradictory.

Achieving world peace

World peace can be achieved when people become ready to help each other. All of us belong to one family. Everybody should be able to say: ‘Whenever you are in need, I am with you’. 

There is a fear among people that no one would help them when they are in need. This is the sole reason for all the corruption and violence. People have somehow lost this trust. People have lost faith in themselves, in the Divine and in the society. 

There must be faith in the goodness of people in the society. People must have faith in themselves and faith that the Divine is taking care of us. If a person has faith in all the three, it will bring peace to them and also to the society.

Why must one suffer in the present moment?

Both pain and pleasure exists on this planet. 
The first experience of your coming into the world was painful. You were happily floating in your mother’s womb and suddenly all the liquid was gone and you had to pass through a narrow passage. It was difficult and you had a tough time. That is why as soon as a child is born it shrinks its whole body as though it did some huge work and then cries. That is your first experience of pain. 
Pain and pleasure, they keep happening like meditation in motion but suffering is optional. Pain sometimes is inevitable.
Suffering is when you try to avoid pain or when you have a concept that this pain should never have been there. Suffering is latching onto the past in the present moment. So suffering is also in the present because your mind is latching on to a past moment. Again, there are times it could be inevitable but with wisdom that time is shortened. 
That is why Maharishi Patanjali said, ‘Heyam Dukham Anagatam’. Yoga is there to avoid the suffering which might come in the future. It is a precaution.
If you take good precaution with food and you’re eating habits are good, you don’t get diabetes, or blood pressure or heart problems and other problems. Why you get these problems? It is because you neglect something, somewhere. 
Similarly if you don’t attend to your relationships with people around you then you get into that type of problem. 
Sometimes with no logic if you feel that you are suffering then know that it has carried on from the past which you do not know of. And if you do the Eternity Process or go into deeper meditation then it will appear and then you will see, this was something due in the past and I am paying off the due now. That is it, finish and move on.

How does a married woman strike a balance between her parents and her husband

First of all don’t think they are in conflict. Even if it appears to be, don’t accept that there is a conflict. When you think there is a conflict that is when you struggle. 
If there appears to be a conflict then with skill bring them together. Say all nice things about your parents to your husband and all nice things about your husband to your parents. Usually girls start complaining sometimes unknowingly or unconsciously about her in-laws or her husband to her parents and the parents get even more worried. 
Many times parents come and tell me, ‘Guruji, my daughter is suffering so much!’ I just look at them and say, ‘don’t take whatever she says as 100% gospel truth. She is just pouring out her feelings.’ 
Sometimes you have some problems and you just pour it all out, but actually it may not be that big a problem. People like talking, so when they start talking you don’t know how the horse runs! Your imagination tends to run higher. 
Sometimes you try to get some sympathy and some attention from people and so you go on complaining. Just like someone has a disease and they make it so big when they express it to you.
Often non-sadhaks do this. People who do not have enough wisdom, they exaggerate the problem, because it just gives them a sort of satisfaction that people are giving them attention. And parents tend to see the problem as much bigger when their children complain because they are more concerned. 
So I tell them, ‘when your daughter complains take it with a pinch of salt. Accept only 60% of what she says; leave a margin of 40%. You will find out the truth.’ You have to hear both sides of the story. 
When you meet her in-laws and ask them, ‘Is my daughter behaving okay at home?’ They won’t say anything. If they are decent people they will say, ’no she is fine.’ 
So whenever a person complains, whatever they complain, even they themselves do not believe in it 100%. Always there is an exaggeration; there is a margin that you must leave. And truth lies in that margin!

The story of Shabari and the many paths to the Lord

Shabari, an elderly tribal woman and ascetic, did not perform yagnas or read the Vedas. Yet she found her way to the Lord. How? Through love and devotion. She had one-pointed devotion for the Lord. A feeling of belongingness, intimacy and love with the Lord; all of this!
That is why in India there are so many of these stories. There is not just one path but there are many ways and many paths. Many paths means through knowledge or through service or through love (devotion). These three paths are there. You can go in all the three paths and arrive at the same place.
This is what people sometimes don’t understand. Especially in the West, this is a concept which is new, this essence is not there.
Once a top leader from Iran came here who was Ayatollah Khomeini’s right hand man. This was about fifteen to twenty years ago when I was in the old kutir. This man is a great Islamic scholar who is very well known. He was around 83 or 84 years old.
See the seeking in that gentleman; he came all the way from Tehran. Somebody had told him there is a saint here and so had come in search of knowledge. When he came he asked me, ‘Please tell me, if truth is one, there can be only one way to that truth, how can there be many ways? So if there is only one way to truth, then all other ways have to be false.’ This is what his contention was. 
He said, ‘I have studied from my childhood that this is the truth, then how can everything else be truth? There can only be one right answer to a question, one right path. So there can be only one way to God. What is the correct way?’
I just smiled at him and told him, ‘Okay, you came here from north. So someone gave you directions.’ In those days there was no bus here and the Kanakpura road was almost empty. There was nothing. 
So I asked, ‘What directions did they give you?’ and he said, ‘There is one Banashankari, and from Banashankari they told me to go straight and turn right.’ 
I said, ‘Yes, this is the correct path. Go straight and turn to the right. This is the correct direction. But suppose if you are coming from Kanakpura, the direction to this same place would be to go straight and turn left. Do you think this is wrong?’ He remained silent. 
I said, ‘to go to Tehran from India, I would say go north-west and this is correct. But from Germany I would tell you to go south-west. This is completely opposite but it is also correct. And from Pakistan I would tell you to go west and that is also correct. So, all these instructions are correct or are they wrong?’
He said, ‘They are correct. Though truth is one there are many paths and all the paths are correct.’ He said, ‘Salaam! You opened my eyes. This is what I wanted. Today I feel I am born again.’
For a seeker when the question becomes so deep, he goes around looking for an answer. So though truth is one, the paths are many. 
This is the specialty in India. Kabir went through knowledge and meditation, Shabari only through love and longing. There was so much longing in Shabari, there was a yearning in her to meet her Lord. That yearning leads you to the Lord. 
Meera reached through singing. Shabari never used to even sing. There was only the yearning in her heart.
A knowledgeable person can also reach and so can a karma yogi. All these different paths lead to the same truth and all these paths are correct.
Now if you ask me, then I would tell you that if you choose one, the rest will come along. That is the specialty of the Art of Living, where everything is there together; feelings, devotion, knowledge, play and a little bit of mischief as well!

Charm and commitment

Nobody can have the same charm for the same work all their life unless they are enlightened.

If you are enlightened, you can give the same intro talk a million times and still be so enthusiastic because you don’t live in the memory of it, you are living in the present. Or you are such a child who enjoys doing the same thing, and does not get bored at all. 

That is why the word commitment has come to this planet. Don’t go only on whether you enjoy it or not or because you are charmed by it. You have to do it because you are committed to it. 

In life we need to have both, commitment and charm. Charm gives you that little excitement now and then but commitment carries it on. Commitment will carry life forward.

Truth has many paths

Keep all other concepts on one side and just look into your own life; what have you learnt in your life? What are your experiences?
Look at all that you thought as truth that later turned to be not true. What are the experiences which meant something at that time but after sometime meant nothing.
Observe how your judgements were all just bubbles on the surface of water; they had no facts, they had no stance. You had judgements and you thought that is how it is and later on you realised, ‘Oh! It was just my judgement but not the way things really are.’
So your vision broadens, sharpens and heightens. That which broadens your vision, sharpens your vision and heightens your vision is ‘Swadhyay’.  Swa means oneself, studying one's own 'Self'. Throwing light on your own ‘self’, examining your own ‘self’, this is essential. 
By this introspection you blossom and that inner being is unlocked. Then one begins to understand everything - there is one light, which is within me. Then you find the way and truth dawns and then you recognize that which is in all the Holy Scriptures. Otherwise just memorising the Holy Scriptures and saying it like a parrot has no value. It has to become alive in our life and for that Swadhyay is essential.
Throw light on your own mind, on your own intellect, on your own life and the events of your own life, this is very important. You will be amazed by just throwing light on events of your life what happens. How you were, what concepts you had, how limited your thinking was and now how vast it has become. How your behaviours were and how your behaviours have changed. How your sense of belongingness was and how it has changed now.
Though truth is one, there are many paths and all paths are correct.

When will the world become a beautiful place?

Just open your eyes, it is already beautiful. 

If you think that it is not beautiful then do some work to make if beautiful. 

This work that we are doing, of meditation, of knowledge will make the world more beautiful. 

In my view, the world is beautiful and it is becoming more beautiful. Here we have flowers and buds and the buds will also blossom in some time. You do some work; do some ‘karma-yoga’.

Dealing with pain for the planet

Don’t be disheartened. Nature is intelligent. It has given the will to many people today to plant more trees, to be more aware of the lakes and rivers and people are much more environment-conscious today than before. So we are moving in the right direction. 

The Art of Living itself has pledged to plant 59.5 million trees. Our volunteers have done a lot of work. 

We need people like you who feel the pain for the planet. We want you to come up and the youngsters also to come up. Give one year of your life to this nation or to any nation you are in. One year to make it better. Keep aside your job and other commitments, take a one year sabbatical. 

‘One year of my life I am going to donate to my nation and for the sake of my environment. For eliminating poverty, for elevating human values and for a stress-free, violence-free world.’ 

With that determination, if you come along and spend one year for the society, at least one year, it can make a big difference. 

Today, hundreds and thousands of Art of Living teachers are engaged and selflessly are working for society. What do they need? Simple food and a simple place to live. Simple things, and that is all being met. That is why there is an organization which takes care of the basic needs and so they have no other demands. And they are working day and night. 

We have so many full time teachers here. They have dedicated their lives for the sake of humanity, to bring a smile on everyone’s face, to bring happiness in the lives of people. That in turn gives them so much happiness. 

When you spread joy and happiness in another's life, that brings so much more inner satisfaction, and you cannot buy this satisfaction. Nothing can give you that job satisfaction that our teachers have. That is very good. 

So we need to work more. All of you who have this intention to do something for the society, come along and we can do something great. Alone you cannot achieve much.

One man cannot clean Delhi or Jamuna. But thousands everyday joined hands to clean Jamuna and Delhi, and the project became successful.

Overcoming a persistent bad habit

Stop connecting your thought, ‘I have achieved this’ (after initially overcoming a bad habit) with not achieving it. Sometimes you think, ‘I want to do this’ and it does not happen. Many times your determination becomes weak. Someone else’s sankalpa wins over. 
So it is best not to analyze too much about it otherwise you start feeling guilty, your self-esteem goes down and all these sort of mental tortures and imbalances follow. 
The best thing is to let go and take a fresh determination and move on. Whenever you make a determination, at least it saves you for a certain period of time. 
Suppose you say, I am not going to overeat. You keep the determination for fifteen days or one month and then again you break it and you overeat. When you overeat, you suffer. Then again you should start the sankalpa.
Now, instead of saying, ‘I can’t do this, anyway, I will continue overeating’, start again. Say, ‘okay, I will start again from today. Never mind if I overate, but today I will begin again.’ Having that determination, saved you for one month from overeating. 
So from time to time take such a sankalpa and never mind if it breaks. It is still helping you to move on, so never give up your determination. Even if it breaks ten times, it is good to come back to it.
If you have a habit of smoking or drinking or sex or anything that you feel is not helping you, but you are not able to keep up the promise that you made to yourself. I tell you, continue pursuing it. Even if you break it ten times, again take it up.
Suppose if you had completely not taken it all, what would have happened? You would have overeaten the whole time. You would have indulged the whole time. At least your determination saved you one month, fifteen days, two months or one year. You broke it, never mind, continue again. 
And this will save you going forward. It uplifts your spirit; it elevates you and makes life progress in the right direction. And suddenly one day you see, without any effort, it has become so easy. Naturally you are aligned. 
There is a natural alignment when you feel completely free. That inner freedom simply dawns. But you must take these useful steps.

If this life is a dream, then how does one know the real Self?

You cannot know the real self. What you can know is that everything is changing. 

Once you know everything is changing, one who feels that everything is changing is non-changing. Without the non-changing, you cannot recognize the changes. 

Without a reference point, how can you say something is changing? That reference point is not the object of knowing but it is the knower himself.

If you want to know everything is an object of knowing, then it is not possible. Don’t make the ultimate an object of knowing.