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.