phenomenon is Divinity
What Sri Sri said today: Jan. 15, 2010
Bangalore ashram, Jan. 15:
Q: Guruji, why don’t
I have same experience in doing meditation here and at home?
Sri Sri: Places do have an impact – that’s only
in beginning. The stronger you become, you start influencing places instead of places affecting you.
Q: Can you please
talk about restrictions during eclipse like not to eat?
Sri Sri: The mind has a deep connection with the moon and the moon
is connected to water and water is connected to the body: 60 to 70 percent of the body is water. Everything is interconnected.
When a celestial phenomenon happens, it impacts the body also. For example, the way you feel early in the morning is different
from how you feel in the afternoon or evening. Evening goes with romantic music and melodies, morning goes with wake up calls.
You can’t play romantic music in the afternoon.
The mind has an impact on the mind and body complex. Time has an
impact on the mind. Planets have an impact on mind and the mind-body complex. Ancient people have written about it. When the
mind says, ‘It’s wrong’, you try to prove it wrong and when you can’t prove it wrong, the mind accepts
it. For example, turmeric. In the 70s and 80s, people dismissed it as only being a pigment with no food value but now scientists
say it has the best anti oxidant value like amla (gooseberry) and tulsi (basil). They have started rediscovering the ancient
sacred herbs as being very useful and a must for healthy living.
The reason we say, don’t eat during and before
the time of eclipse is because the food increases metabolism in the body. Increased metabolism doesn’t let the mind
be in a calm state. If you have food, you would simply fall asleep. We advise this to soothe the system and not excite it
during the celestial phenomenon.
Q: I would like to have self realization. I have come to the advanced meditation course.
At what stage and in what course will my desire get fulfilled?
Sri Sri: It’s good. This is the highest desire, the
only one worth pursuing. Whether you acknowledge this or not, everyone has come to this planet with this desire. If you have
recognized this it’s very good.
Q: The advance course will take me to what level and how many steps do I need to
Sri Sri: Very few steps for enlightenment. What is enlightenment? Being unconditionally happy. Everyone wants love
that doesn’t get distorted. Love gets distorted as hatred, fear, jealousy and other imperfections. Enlightenment is
having such a love.
There are two steps to enlightenment:
From being somebody to being nobody.
From being nobody
to being everybody.
And how to be nobody? Just wake up and realize that this is a vast universe. What are you in this?
Who are you in this? You may be a great businessman or scientist or doctor but how long will you be there on this planet?
In 70 – 100 years you will go and the earth will continue to exist. It has been there from billions of years and it
will continue to be there. Who are you? Where are you with respect to this magnanimous universe?
From being nobody to
be a part of everybody.
Q: Knowing that my life goes by karma, is it still alright to ask for something after prayer/puja?
Sri: It’s like asking should I feel thirsty? If you feel thirsty, you will ask for water. Should I ask for water has
no meaning, since you have already indicated that you’re thirsty. If a prayer comes, let it come. It just comes up.
Q: I have been on path for many years but I don’t feel your grace as people talk about?
Sri Sri: Don’t
focus on what others want. See what is it that you want. When you stop looking inside and look at others, that is when you
miss the boat.
Q: Can you please elaborate on the power of mantra? It is said that the power of mantra is greater than
that of a planet. Does a sadhak (one who is on the spiritual path) need to pay attention to horoscope?
Sri Sri: Yes, mantras
are very powerful. The power of mantras is greater than the power of the horoscope. Don’t worry too much about horoscope.
Om namah shivaya , Om namoh narayana are much more powerful. Shiva has five letters which refers to the five elements. All
the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether are referenced when you chant Om namah shivaya. You don’t have to
imagine that Shiva has a big trishul and is sitting somewhere. Artists had made that mistake. Shiva is not a person. Shiva
It’s said in the Upanishad:
“Shivam shantam, advaitam, chaturtam, mannyante sa aatma sa vigyeya.”
is Shiva? Shiva is so auspicious, so benevolent, so soothing, so beautiful, so comforting. ‘Chaitanya atma’ –
the consciousness is Shiva, not a person but that energy.
In Kashmiri Shaivism, there is a book called the Shiv sutras.
In some books of Kashmiri Shaivism, it has been so beautifully described. Some of these books are so precious, so nice - all
that knowledge, those books are lost.
The main purpose is to express the timelessness of mind, the consciousness. That
fourth state of consciousness which is neither awake nor asleep is called shiv tattva.
Q: I am in a dilemma. I am a second
year student of engineering. I took engineering with my choice but now I find that it is not for me. I find journalism my
choice. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Choice is yours blessing is mine.
Q: What to do when responsibilities come between
you and your practices?
Sri Sri: Guru Nanak or one of the ten Sikh Gurus has spoken on how a student should be. Like water.
When stones are there on the path of water, what does it do? Water rises above the stones and flows. Similarly obstacles are
there in life. You rise above obstacles and move through it. Have patience and flow over them.
Q: Guruji there are so
many people in the world who are suffering on behalf of ancient beliefs and rituals. Can you please talk about it?
Sri: People are suffering with modern beliefs also. They think drugs, cigarette, alcohol gives them joy and then they suffer.
Not every ancient belief is wrong and not every modern belief is right. We need to accept combination of both old and new.
People are suffering because of superstitions which have no sanction of scriptures or science. People are suffering because
of some rituals which are not at all part of ancient scriptures. It’s a lack of wisdom which make people suffer. Nothing
Q: How can we love someone who did a terrible thing to us?
Sri Sri: Don’t love them. Just accept them.
First accept and then see the culprit not as a culprit but a victim. Due to circumstances they did so. If they would have
had wisdom they wouldn’t have done it.
Just a few days ago, a lady came to the ashram. She has three children and
her husband was killed by Maoists. Later she became an Art of Living teacher and when she went back, she taught the Maoists
Sudarshan Kriya and pranayama. Maoists were so amazed. They asked her: ‘You are not angry with us, we killed your husband?’
She said, ‘No, you didn’t have knowledge of what you were doing. I want you to be in knowledge’. They all
did Sudarshan Kriya, pranayama and left the path of violence. They were crying in front of her like babies. The way she described
brought tears in everybody’s eyes. All those 2000 people present had tears in eyes.
This is the power of wisdom.
It unites people of all roles and attitudes.
Q: Guruji, how much influence does previous karma have on our present life.
Is one sad or happy owing to previous karma?
Sri Sri: I have already talked about this in a book ‘Celebrating silence’.
You can refer to that for deeper understanding.
Our mind is ancient so it has impressions. Previous karma does have an
impact but so does your present karma. Don’t be too much stuck into that. Don’t have a fatalistic attitude. You
have a free will to change it as well.
Q: Guruji, I am very possessive about my things. I can share my things only with
my dear ones and I don’t like others using them. What can I do to come out of it?
Sri Sri: Never mind. Others have
accepted you as you are. You can think you have given a chance to accept as you are. Never mind. The time will come when you
will rise above all this, me and I. Right now, don’t feel guilty. Allow your boundary to expand gradually. Don’t
force yourself. May be after 10 years or 100 years! Then anybody can use your things. Then you can’t say only my grand
children can use my things. (Laughter)
Mind is so tricky and so funny when it comes to possessiveness. It’s ok.
There is a time for everything.
Q: I want to do a lot of work in society but I don’t know where to start, how to
Sri Sri: The seed is there and it will grow. You want to work for society, the seed will grow. Good. Let it grow.
Satsang, sadhana will nurture this seed.
Q: Guruji, the surroundings I am in have many drug addicts and people in all
such other stuff. Can we do something for them?
Sri Sri: Definitely. We can conduct courses there. We have many de addiction
centers running. We will think about it.
Q: Guruji you often answer my prayers and questions but sometimes I feel you completely
Sri Sri: Because you are so special. I pay attention to only ordinary people to make them extraordinary. You
are already extraordinary.
Q: Guruji, under stress and tension for small things I have spoilt much of my hard work which
has affected results also.
Sri Sri: Stress and tension can spoil anything, you understand this by your experience that’s
very good. People keep on doing the same and then also they don’t realize this. When stress and tension starts,
become aware and do pranyama, Sudarshan kriya and get rid of it. That is why we have courses. It’s good you have acknowledged
that stress is the culprit.
The second stage is to get rid of it. And the third stage is ‘Don’t let it come’.
Here wisdom helps.
Practices are there to get rid of stress and wisdom doesn’t allow stress to come. We need to
have both. Practices alone won’t work because more stress will come again. Wisdom alone won’t work because it
will be only set of ideas. Both are required.
Q: What is the best form of prayer?
Sri Sri: Prayer happens in two conditions.
One is when you are utterly grateful and second is when you are utterly helpless, nowhere to go. Both are authentic and always
get fulfilled. Being both, helpless and grateful, is very rare and very powerful. It is a total form of prayer.
the more I follow you, the more attached I get to you. What to do?
Sri Sri: I don’t know what to do? (laughter) You
know, what is it that you are attracted to? Good qualities. But if qualities are only superficial they will go and if qualities
are your very nature they will never go. I tell you, all those qualities are present in you. Enhance those qualities more
and more. Then you will find that you are me and I am you.
Longing and love are two sides of the same coin. You can’t
say, ‘I love you but I don’t long for you’. And it is impossible to long for someone without having love.
That is why it is said: ‘RadheShyam’. Radha is longing and Sham is love. RadheSham (longing and love) go together
Q: How to see Divinity beyond the objects?
Sri Sri: Don’t try to see Divinity. Take it for granted.
It is there, like the air. You know that the air is all there. You inhale air and exhale air. You can’t see air but
you know it is there. Similarly Divinity is all there. Only the heart can feel. Eyes can’t see it. When you are totally
relaxed you feel that the whole universe is filled with Divinity. When your mind is relaxed, your body is relaxed, you find
that the chirping of the birds is Divinity,
the moving of leaves is Divinity,
the flowing of water is Divinity,
people fighting, & mountains - all - exuberate Divinity. You will find that beyond all this phenomenon, there is a field
or phenomena that exists – that is Divinity.
Q: How to handle people who argue using kutarka (wrong logic)?
Sri: Intelligent people never argue, especially bhaktas, lovers, devotees never argue. It is said in the Narada bhakti sutra
that if you are a devotee, you are lover of God, you never argue. Arguments have got no loyalty. They can go this way or that.
There are eight types of kutarkas. I tell you our nation, Vedic philosophy has tremendous knowledge, insight on this aspect.
Like one is ‘pitanga’ – conveniently quoting one line and forgetting the other line. The second type is
‘I am saying so it is right’. Different types of logic to confuse you and make you feel like you have won.
the time of Adi Shankracharya, ancient time two garlands were put on people involved in arguments. It was believed that the
one who is wrong, who is trying to prove something wrong, his garland will wither away and the one who is authentic and trying
to put forward the truth, his garland will stay. That is how Adi Shankracharya won arguments from place to place.
people don’t get into arguments. They say, ‘Ok you want to win, ok you win.’“That which you cannot
express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
Sri Sri Ravishankar
© The Art of Living Foundation
For Global Spirituality
Regards, with Pranams to my beloved
Love is not an Emotion...Its our Very Existence...
Passion & Self-reliance
makes you weak. Dispassion is strength.
For your passion to be fulfilled, you have to depend upon so many things. Passion
and self-reliance do not appear to go together. If you are passionate, you have to forget about being self-reliant. If you
want to be self-reliant, you have to drop your passion. This is generally so
That which brings together these two completely
different aspects in you, is your spirit. The same spirit that wants to be self-reliant is also passionate. It is only in
spirituality that passion and dispassion can happen together. This is the rarest combination.
When you are dispassionate,
you have strength, and strength is self-reliance. True self-reliance is realizing that nothing is excluded from the Self.
And when you realize everything is part of the Self, then you can be passionate about everything! Even to fulfill your passion,
you can only rely on the Self, for Self alone is non-changing.
In Truth, there is neither reliance nor passion. In
one state, you can either be passionate or you can be self-reliant. But in an elevated state of consciousness, you can be
neither, or both!
- Sri Sri
|| Jai Guru Dev ||
Q: Why does the Divine answer and reward some while the prayers
of others go unanswered?
Sri Sri: Well, I don't know why some prayers get answered and some are not. I have no idea.
Perhaps it is good for you. Perhaps you may change your mind about what you want. People go for shopping - this often happens
at least in India - go for shopping and ask shopkeeper, `Can I come later and exchange it if I don't like it?' They go home
and don't like it and get it exchanged the next day. The most unreliable thing you have is your own mind because you don't
know what it likes and when it doesn't like that. That is why bringing mind to its source is so important. Its centeredness
is the most important thing in spiritual evolution. Understanding what is transient and what is permanent, what brings you
permanent joy and what causes temporary convenience and long term misery, what causes temporary discomfort and permanent joy
and what causes long term discomfort. That is what is called viveka, discrimination, wisdom knowing this from that.