Sri Sri
In life there are two situations: One is when you are comfortable and happy. Another situation is when you are upset and unhappy.
So what is needed to maintain this comfort and happiness is a willingness to do service.
When we are happy then we don’t serve. Usually the mind doesn’t go in the direction. When you are happy you just want to enjoy and don’t think about care, share or service at that time, and that is when it is very much needed. When you are happy and you do service then happiness will remain.
What we need to ask for is the willingness to do seva when we are happy, and the ability to let go and turn inward when we are unhappy. We need to ask for this, ’Give me the strength to let go and turn inward when I am unhappy.’
And learning to let go of the world when we are still here, in it, enjoying it, is wisdom.

Once an elderly lady in one satsang asked a question, ‘Why did God make this world so miserable?’
The answer was, ‘Yes, he has made it like that for you. Even when it is so miserable you don’t let go of it and turn towards God. Otherwise you will never turn inward.’

Q: Dear Guruji, what is the meaning of the Shiva Linga?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Lingam means an identification, a symbol through which you can identify what the truth is, what the reality is. What is not visible but yet can be identified by one thing that is Lingam. When a baby is born, how do you know whether the baby is a male or female? Only through one part of the body can you identify whether this baby is a boy or a girl. Otherwise babies look alike until a certain age. But one part tells you what the future is. And that is the reason the genital is also called Lingam.
Linga means gender. Streelinga means feminine gender and Pulinga means masculine gender. Gender means that by which you identify that which is not yet fully expressed. This is literal meaning of Lingam.
So Shiva Linga means the Divinity is not yet expressed. It is the Divine that is inexpressible actually; beyond expression; identifying that which is not yet expressed. Knowing something which is beyond with a symbol, that is what it is.
This ancient language is so powerful. Just keep a stone anywhere and it becomes a Lingam, which means, through the stone I am thinking of something which is not yet expressed.

Q: Is living a life as a celibate the middle path? How do we get to know of God’s expression in its totality without the feminine-masculine principle?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, you are made up of both, feminine and masculine. Both aspects are in you. Now, celibacy is not the only way. It is not a practice. Celibacy is something that happens, when you know that you are not the body. And the genders masculine and feminine are only to the body, it is not for the consciousness. The consciousness is beyond.
Now, when you realize this consciousness is beyond then you go beyond the gross pleasure. Otherwise we have been trying to know male and female in so many lifetimes being a cat, dog, horse, and whatever animal, and human beings as well. So if you just want to know that then keep knowing it. For how long will you want to know? At some point of time you will say, ‘Enough is enough. I want to just go inside.’ That is when the mind turns inward.
So you should not negate everything and go; but when the energy in you rises up then you want a joy that is free from feverishness and excitement. And that is what it is.
That is why it is said, a minute of Samadhi is equivalent to 1000 units of sex. How much joy you get in one unit of sex, a thousand units of sex is one Samadhi. And that one minute of Samadhi is equivalent to a billion years of rest.
So, do you want that? Then you have to go beyond these regular things. See, you have to give up something to get something.
If you want to really enjoy a nice good meal, you have to give up eating junk food all day. If you are stuffing yourself with a bag of potato chips from the morning, you can’t enjoy your lunch because you won’t have the appetite for it, right? When you are hungry, then you are able to enjoy a good meal.