on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

There was a man with four wives. He loved his fourth wife the most and took
a great care of her and gave her the best. He also loved his third wife
and always wanted to show her off to his friends. However, he was always
had a fear that she might runaway with some other man. He loved his second
wife too. Whenever he faced some problems, he always turned to his second
wife and she would always help him out. He did not love his first wife
though she loved him deeply, was very loyal to him and took great care of
him. One day the man fell very ill and knew that he is going to die soon.
He told himself, "I have four wives with me. I will take one of them along
with me when I die to keep company in my death."
Thus, he asked the fourth wife to die along with him and keep company. "No
way!" she replied and walked away without another word.
He asked his third wife.She said "Life is so good over here. I'm going to
remarry when you die".
He then asked his second wife. She said "I'm Sorry. I can't help you this
time around. At the most I can only accompany you til your grave."
By now his heart sank and turned cold.
Then a voice called out: "I'll leave with you. I'll follow you no matter
where you go." the man looked up and there was his first wife. She was so
skinny, almost like she suffered from mal nutrition. Greatly grieved, the
man said, "I should have taken much better care of you while I could have!"

Actually, we all have four wives in our lives.
a. The fourth wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we
lavish in making it look good, it'll leave us when w die.
b. The third wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they
go to others.
c. the second wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they
had been there for us when we're alive, the furthest they can stay by us is
up to the grave.
d. the first wife is the our soul, neglected in our pursuit of material
wealth and pleasure. It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever
we go.

That is why we need to strengthen it NOW through our SADHANA, SEVA and
SATSANG rather than to wait until we're on our deathbed to lament.

With Whom Are You At Ease?

on Saturday, February 23, 2013

With whom do you feel really comfortable and at ease?

You feel comfortable with someone who does not question your love, someone who takes for granted that you love them. Isn't it?

If someone doubts your love and you constantly have to prove it, this becomes a heavy load on your head.

When someone doubts your love, they start questioning you and demanding explanations for all your actions.

To explain everything you do is a burden. Your nature is to shed the burden, and so you don't feel comfortable.

When you question the reason behind an action, you are asking for justice for yourself. You are creating a distance when you ask for justice. Your whole intention is to come close, but you are creating a distance.

You are a witness to all your actions. You are as much a stranger to your own actions as you are to someone else's. You are the Eternal Witness.

When someone asks for an explanation, they are speaking from doership and imposing that doership on you. This brings discomfort.

If somebody is just there with you, like a part of you, they don't question you. They are like your arm. There is thorough understanding and questions don't arise.

Neither demand an explanation nor give an explanation.

Sri Sri 

|| Jai Guru Dev ||


on Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Knowledge Sheet: There are no bad people

The Divine can only be found in deep rest (meditation).
Do you know what the obstacles to deep rest are? It is the cravings and aversions in the mind.
If the mind is filled with cravings and aversions, rest is not possible. And if there is no rest, the goal of Sadhana (spiritual practices) cannot be achieved.
That is why we need to be free from the cravings and aversions in our mind. So, how do we do that?
'I don’t need anything from anyone', this is what we need to keep in our mind.

When we don’t need anything from anyone, we will not have cravings towards anybody. When there is no craving, there will be no aversion.

Don’t think of anyone as a bad person. There is no bad person in the world. If people do something bad, it is because of their ignorance or lack of awareness, or because their mind has been hurt. So, don’t have negative opinions about anybody.

Q: Gurudev, you just said that we should not consider anyone as bad. If others treat us badly, how do we react to that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If others have a negative opinion about you, it is their problem, not yours. From your side, do not consider anyone as bad. By doing this, your mind will be clear and pleasant and your intellect will be sharp. Otherwise, the people whom you consider as bad will begin to haunt your mind like a ghost. 
When such thoughts get into your mind, you will not be able to do something creative.

Q: If somebody has really done something wrong towards us, what should we do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When someone does something bad to you, think, why would they do it? One reason could be that they are not healthy.

Do you see a fool or a mentally ill person as a culprit? No! 
If a mentally ill person says something bad to you, do you take their words seriously? No. You just move on knowing that he is mentally ill. So, when someone says something bad to you, think of it in the same way. When a disturbed person says something bad, why should you feel disturbed?

Q: In order to be peaceful, we have to learn not to expect from others. But in day-to-day life, at the office or at home, different people are supposed to do different things. If they don’t do it, then problems arise. Everyone has to do his or her job. 
Please guide us on this.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If someone does not do the job that he or she is supposed to do, then we need to tell them to do it. We need to exercise our authority there. 
If there are lazy people who don’t do their work, we cannot sit quiet. We need to make them aware of their duty. 
If we have craving or aversion towards them then we cannot bring awareness in them. It will only make us angry.

Q: What is the meaning of Cause and Effect?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Cause and Effect are called ‘Karana’ and ‘Karya’. 
Cow is the cause, milk is the effect. If there is milk, it is because of the cow. 
The cause for the cow is grass. The cause for the grass is the Earth. The cause for the Earth is the Sun. 
Behind every happening, there is a cause. 
Paramakarana, the cause of all causes is the Divine. That is why, it is said, ‘Tasmai Namah Paramakarana Karanaya.’ 
The cause of all causes is Shiva.

Q: Gurudev, we say ‘Achamanyam Samarpayami’. Water is known as ‘Apa’, so why do we call it as ‘Achamanyam’? 

What is the significance of offering water?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, water is also known as Achamanyam. This is a practice that has been going on since ages. Before starting and ending anything, Achamanyam is offered. 
It is the process where we do Abhimantra (mantra chanting on the water. You take a pot of water, place your hand on top and then chant mantras. The mantras are supposed to be absorbed into the water) and then offer it. It is not just plain drinking water. The water is charged through the mantra vibrations.

Whenever a guest comes home, water is used to wash their feet (padya). Then, water is given into their hands (arghya). After this, they are given water to drink to quench their thirst (achamanyam). These three practices were practiced in olden times.

When someone comes to your house, don’t you ask, ‘What would you like to drink? Would you like some lemonade, milk, tea or coffee?’ 
Don’t you give them some water to drink? 
In the same way, in olden times, they used to have the practice of Padya, Arghya and Achamanyam. 
Padya means washing the feet of the guest at the entrance of the house, so that the dirt on the feet does not enter the house. Arghya is to wash their hands. Achamanyam is giving them water to drink, indicating that the discussion can begin.

Q: What is the significance of ‘Panchamrita (mixture of five foods used in Hindu worship) Abhisheka’? Why were only these materials chosen?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: These five are like nectar: Milk, Curd, Honey, Jaggery and Ghee. Though jaggery needs to be used, sugar is being used instead of jaggery nowadays.

Five Devatas (Deities) reside in them. Savitru resides in Sugar, Vishwedeva in Honey, Surya in Ghee, Vayu in Curd, and Soma in Milk. 
So, when you offer them as Abhisheka, the intention is that – may the qualities of the Devas blossom in our life.

We pray for peace in everybody’s mind. 
Let there be joy in everybody’s mind. 
Let there be strength, courage and longevity in people’s lives. 
Let there be contentment and prosperity in people’s lives. 
Let there be radiance in life. 
Let the winds and rivers flow in sweetly. 
Let our days and nights be sweet. 
Let every soil particle bring sweetness to us. 
Let us get sweetness from the Akasha, Devatas and Pitrus (departed ancestors). 
Let our speech and thoughts be sweet.
Let the society bring us sweetness. 
Let the Vanaspati (Lord of the forest) bring us sweetness. 
Let the Sun bring sweetness to our lives. 
Let our whole life bring sweetness to other people’s lives.
Let us bring sweetness to the collective consciousness.

Q: Please tell us the way to attain never-ending and unshakable devotion.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Assume that you have unshakable devotion. 
Sage Narada says in the Bhakti Sutras that devotion is not an object that can be obtained. If you drop all the doubts, devotion is already there.

Q: If we study law, there is a guarantee of becoming a lawyer. If we study engineering, there is a guarantee of becoming an engineer if we put in our efforts. However, there is no guarantee of getting liberation if we keep doing our Sadhana and keep walking this path.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is definitely guaranteed. 
Arjuna asks the same question in the Bhagavad Gita. So, Lord Krishna replies, ‘Na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati’, (Chapter 6, Verse 40). 
For one who walks the spiritual path, you will only move higher and higher.

Q: Many great saints, though they attained enlightenment, did not give it directly to anybody. They just preached about the steps to attain it. Why does God not give enlightenment directly to everyone? Are samskaras (impressions) necessary for this? 

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Samskaras are necessary. If you are here, it means that somewhere you had the interest and curiosity to come. Without that interest, how could you come here? So, a little bit of samskaras are necessary. 
However, only samskaras are not enough. In life, samskaras, opportunities and grace are all needed. Along with these, self-effort is also required. 
If you want to come to the satsang but keep lying in your bed, will it help? 
So, self-effort, samskaras, opportunities and grace are all needed.

Q: Are there chances of epilepsy attacks even for people who do Sadhana regularly?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It depends on what the person eats, drinks and does the whole day. It is possible if eating, drinking and living habits are not proper. 
If there is too much stress in the nervous system then there are chances of such attacks. 
If one lives a healthy life, it will not happen.


Expansion of Consciousness is Peace

on Sunday, January 20, 2013

Consciousness moving on the surface of the body is stimuli, which cause
pleasure. When consciousness shrinks, then the sensation of pain and
suffering arises. Suffering is the shrinking or contraction of

When consciousness moves through the body in limited channels, pleasure is
experienced. Repeated enjoyment of the stimuli causes inertia and dullness.
Often cooks don't enjoy their own food. Listening to the same piece of
music loses the charm, people in the sex industry don't enjoy sex. If the
stimuli are observed, then consciousness expands and becomes peace. With
awareness the stimuli lose their significance; whether they exist or not
makes no difference. When the sun is there, then whether the candle is lit
or not makes no difference. To realise that all pleasures are just stimuli
and that you are more than the stimuli brings freedom.

Pain is nothing but consciousness wanting to expand and to become free.
Freedom basically is liberation from the craving of the stimuli. Pain is
not a permanent state. The natural tendency of consciousness is to expand,
to become bliss. Like the natural tendency of water is to flow downward,
and the natural tendency of air is not to be under pressure, the natural
tendency of consciousness is to expand and to be at peace. Like the person
who is an insomniac and has forgotten how to sleep, most of us have
forgotten to be at peace and in bliss.

Question: What about the pleasure in Satsang?
Answer: The pleasure of Satsang takes you towards expansion."

|| Jai Guru Dev ||

Consciousness is stronger than matter

on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Q. The more and more my love blossoms for the Divine – the harder I find it to give away my pains and worries. How can we give garbage to the most precious ones?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind. Divine will take it. He’ll snatch it from you if you don’t want to give it. As long as there is connection, there is attention - there is always give and take. You will always receive blessings. You will always receive bliss and unwanted things will just drop off.
And it is nice of you to think that way - it also shows the level of consciousness. In this level of consciousness, drop this identity of garbage as part of you or yours. You find something pricking the mind, just see it as garbage, not yours or someone else’s.

Q. Dear Guruji, I’m feeling so lost in this world. You always say, ‘Life must be juicy’. But there is no juice anywhere. In every work, there seems to be complete emptiness. Don’t know what to do, where to go? Please guide.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are in the right place. Just be here. Is it not juicy here? Is it dry and empty? Of course, it’s hollow and empty when you sit and meditate. But now, you see it’s so celebratory and fun. No one can ever say its dry here.
Look at everyone and the smile on their face. Yes, when you want to take something from the world, the world will appear to be completely dull and lack. But when you want to contribute, the picture changes drastically!

Q.Is peace a state of mind in which no desire or craving etc. arise at all or they arise and subside very fast. How to attain peace permanently?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you drop this wanting permanency, there will be peace.

Q. The soul takes staying forever and takes birth till getting moksha. Then, who lives in hell?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want to explore hell now? I have never been there, so I can’t tell you what it is.

Q. What is unconditional love and how can we love a person unconditionally, and when can we do that?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you don’t want anything in return, that is called unconditional love. Not even a thanks or a sense of gratitude or gratefulness. A lot of times people help others but these little expectations are there and that is what bugs them and pulls them down. That is also a condition.
Unconditional love comes naturally as your consciousness blossoms. You can’t force it on yourself or cultivate it. I don’t know how to cultivate it. It’s simply a phenomenon. When your consciousness expands, rises, then, what comes out of it is unconditional love. You say, I’m here for you and I want nothing from you. This comes to you and it has come to you with some people but with many others, you have some expectations.

Q. Guruji, how do we handle situations where we feel we have been blamed unfairly?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just with a smile. In this world, there is place for ignorance also. If someone is blaming you, it is out of their ignorance. And if it is not ignorance, it is mal-intention or jealousy and I would club all these emotions as part of ignorance. So, the best is you move on and don’t get stuck because you have no way to control other’s opinion and you don’t need to - everyone can have their own opinion. The best formula is to educate and ignore. You have to; if someone says, you are a thief, you can’t say, let him have his opinion. You educate him. If they believe it or not it’s up to them. So, keep this as a formula in every relationship. Educate and ignore. If you just ignore in the beginning, you will only exhibit arrogance. Educate is also a little strong word. You can say inform and ignore, which is even better. In education, there is more effort. In anger, people say, I will teach him a lesson.

Q. Sometimes the inability to plan in advance and the resulting chaos is passed on as divine chaos. How to tackle such chaotic people?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The person who has created chaos wants a cover and in the cover, he will always say to save his face and position. He will bring up many justifications. So, you understand that position
- may be you’d be doing the same thing when you are in that position. Don’t depend on what people say. Most of our problems begin when we lock on to their words and not their feeling or where they stand. A mother says to the child, get lost and she doesn’t really mean it but the words that come are very powerful and if the children take on the words, then, the child gets into trauma unnecessarily. I would say you should see beyond words.
Your communication should be more than verbal – it should transcend the verbal communication. Even if someone says all nasty things to you, can you just be grounded and keep your mind at calm. Then, you have achieved something. You are able to connect to people beyond their words.
Don’t expect that they should also connect. It’s always one way. I tell you communication is always one-sided. You have the skill, you can communicate and you can receive it in that sense. You do not worry about what their reactions are, what they blabber.
They usually say all these blame games are blabbering and you get caught up in this blame game. Someone blames, you get caught up in this blame game. You stand up and say - I have the master key and I know which button to press and how people will react and how things would change. You should have this confidence – the soul, the spirit in you is the master key. It can turn around the situation, the way you want it. You should have that faith. It may not happen five times but sixth time it will happen. It all depends on your conviction and persistence. And don’t bother about what they say. 

Q: Could you please explain how consciousness is stronger than matter?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, in the pressure cooker, when you are cooking, when there is more pressure – how is it built up? Water vapor! And is that more powerful than water or not? So, subtler you go, the more powerful the things are. Now, this thing (Guruji shows the small silver cymbals in the hands) has silver molecules. When you break the silver molecules down, you get into atomic particles, and, when you break them you get sub-atomic molecules, which is minuter than the minutest. Are they not powerful? Which is powerful – this cymbal is powerful or the atom is powerful? Atom is powerful.
The subtler we go, it becomes more and more powerful. Though, everything is made up of consciousness. This entire universe is made up of consciousness, when you become subtler and subtler, they become more powerful.
Today I was watching a research done with water in Japan by a gentleman. He kept a little water in a bottle and took a photograph. Later he has used the same water for prayer and then after prayer he has took a photograph. You can see the impact of prayer - the subtle thought vibration has gone into the water. It’s obviously visible.
He took a bottle of water and kept blaming it and then took a microscopic picture of it. With another bottle, he said some pleasing words and you can see the difference.
In India, this process is called Abhimantra. You take a pot of water, place your hand on top and then chant mantras. The mantras are supposed to be absorbed into the water. It is an old tradition in India. When you go to any holy man or saint, you take a pot of water and ask them to bless the water. Among the sindhi community, they do this a lot.
This Abhimantra - mantra chanting on the water - has a huge impact on the water, because 70% of our body is water. In the Rudrabhisheka, water is made to fall on a crystal lingam while a particular chanting is being done and then it flows down. That water is very charged and it helps to uplift the atmosphere.
Now it is visible in the microscopic images, the changes that happen by these practices.
Similarly a gentleman from Russia came and conducted an experiment in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu when they were doing the Aarti. He took the pictures and found that all the negative ions in the atmosphere suddenly disappeared; they turned into positive ions. It is the positive ions which bring changes. All these things are meant to create the positive ions; to bring the required changes. The same is the case with the use of fire. During fire ceremonies, when they put the mantra with the intention, there is a qualitative change that happens in the atmosphere.

Q: Dear Guruji, I believe in this: As we sow, so we reap. But many instances we see that a person is going through bad times, even if we don’t see any major fault done by him or her. Why it happens?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Karma! The ways of karma are unfathomable. Karma is like an ocean. This is not one lifetime. In many lifetimes, we have done so many actions and they all have repercussions. Which karma has sprouted from which seed and what fruit this karma will give is very difficult to pin point. That is why it is said‘gahana karmanogati’ . Unfathomable are the ways of karma. Because it is not just one lifetime, many lifetimes, we have done many things and we don’t know which karma sprouts when. That’s why don't worry about the karma, just be active and follow your conscience.
Act with conscience!

Q: How to take full responsibility for your actions without feeling doership?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you are taking responsibility, just take the responsibility. Doership means brooding over the consequences.
Whatever has happened, the moment you take responsibility, you are empowered. You come to the present. You have already accepted the consequences.
When you are in action, don’t get into this philosophy of doership or non-doership else the mind gets confused. When you act, you act hundred per cent. When you are acting hundred per cent, suddenly you will realize I am not doing, it is all happening. Non- doership is an experience; it is not something you try to do or achieve.



on Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bhakti (Devotional Love) contains 4 letters : bha, ka,ta and i (pronounced ee). Bha means fulfillment and nourishment ; ka is a means of knowing ; ta means redeeming, saving, salvation (tarana) ; i (ee) is energy, shakti.

Bhakti nourishes you. Bhakti is the right Knowledge, the means of knowing. When Bhakti is there, doubts don't come. Bhakti saves you. Bhakti gives you most energy. 

Bhakti contains the seed of all these qualities. All the emotional upheavals one goes through are because one doesn't know Bhakti. 

A river has two banks that allow water to flow in a particular direction. In a flood, water is scattered all over. When your emotions get flooded everywhere, your mind is in a mess. When all your intense feelings flow in one direction, that is most powerful ; that is Bhakti.

A sign of intelligence is bhakti and surrender.

Source : An Intimate Note to the Sincere Seeker


on Saturday, December 18, 2010

Q : I am centered on the Divine, yet there is restlessness, though on the outside everything seems perfect.

Sri Sri : In every seeker's life there comes a time when the heart is at unease, and there is restlessness. In the West, it is known as the dark day of the soul. There comes a time when satvik shakti (positive energy) is less and rajogun and tamogun are high, that leads to the restlessness. There are three kinds of taap (penance) and one such taap is known as adhyatmic taap (spiritual misery). Yet it is for a short while. Therefore satsang is very important, especially when you dont feel like doing it. Once in twelve years a lack in spirituality comes up. There will arise a doubt on the self, the path and the Guru. This is what the Scriptures say. Therefore the Kumbh festival takes place once in twelve years and all the saints get together to clear all their sins. This tradition is very old. A place where seekers do satsang and where Vedas are recited - kalyuga never comes there.

Q : Why does the divine answer and reward some while prayers of others go unanswered?

Sri Sri : Well, I dont 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 to shopping, this often happens at least in India, and ask shopkeeper, "Can I come later and exchange it if I dont like it". They go home and dont like it and get it exchanged next day. Most unreliable thing you have is your own mind because you dont know what it likes and when it doesnt 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, sense of discretion and wisdom.

Q : Is the concept of anatma (no soul) true? Modern neuroscientists are in agreement with this idea. Please tell us what the truth is.

Sri Sri : Lord Buddha said, “I went in meditation, I searched and searched and searched for the soul, I could not find it. So there is no soul, there is no atma.” That become anatmavad. He said everything is hollow and empty. There is no soul, there is no person, no entity. It is all nothing, everything is nothing. This is what Lord Buddha propounded. Then, after sometime Sri Adishankara came. He said Ok, You didn’t find anybody. Right? But who experienced that nothingness. Who experienced that there is no self? Who searched and found that there is no self? Someone must have searched; someone said there is no self. That is the self. That is how using the same logic of Buddha, Sri Adishankara brought back the Vedic wisdom back into India. From Kerela to Kashmir, from Gujrat to Orissa, he travelled to these areas and that became India. The Self is like the space. It is not an entity or an object. In fact, what lord Buddha said and what Adishankara said, there is not much difference, only one change, a flip in thinking - Buddha says it is all nothing, Adishankara says it is all fullness, everything is full, every single inch of space is filled with knowledge and information. He says this entire universe is consciousness and consciousness is true infinity, wisdom and information. That is why great scientists like Albert Einstein appreciated this so much. Einstein said reading Bhagwad Geeta transformed his whole life. What the scientists are saying today about the black hole, dark matter, dark energy, all has been said long time back. If you listen to a quantum physicist and also to Vedanta, you will feel they are talking the same thing.


on Saturday, July 31, 2010

Q: I am little nervous in front of you and my heart beat is also rising. While doing the course I heard that our existence is eternal. I want to know what is connection of this incarnation with the eternal presence?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: To know that everything is changing you need to have a reference point. That reference point is the unchanging in you. There is a non-changing, eternal element in you because of which you can experience change.
Q: I am coming from Tamil Nadu. I took the course. After the course, I underwent lots of struggles. The more I do my sadhana, lots of challenges, problems are coming. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a saying in Tamil which means that ‘God created the tail of the goat according to its capacity’. Be bold and face the problems. Don’t worry, only that kind of problem will come in life which you can handle, which is within your capacity to handle. So handle it, go through it all boldly.
Q: I do seva for the society by organizing courses and I sometimes fail to do my home duties. In that case, my parents scold me saying, I am not taking care of home. Should I take care of the society or home? What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your know, how to ride bicycle? How do you balance? Like that, you have to do both and balance the duties.
Q: I want to know the relationship between the conscious mind, sub-conscious mind and the infinite intelligence of the sub-conscious mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes! The sub-conscious mind has infinite intelligence. Whatever you put in the sub-conscious mind, it will manifest. If you put the thought that you are poor, that will start happening and if you put positive thoughts that everybody is good then that will start happening.
Q: In 2003, you came and started good work from the temple. All good work is happening till now. We request you to come again and bless the people.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, in Tamil Nadu, you have to do lots of work. There is a lot of problem regarding caste. You all have to do something, work for it.
Q: I am coming from Polachi. I was having a spinal cord problem before taking this course. I took the course and now I can sit and do all my work without anybody's help.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, what doctors can’t do, pranayama does. It can do wonders Q: After solving one problem, one more comes up. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Have the faith that you will be helped and your problem will get solved.
Q: Guruji, I am physically handicapped. I was thinking, how can I contribute to society? Now I am working with the Divine Karnataka Project, presently, in the Sheshadripuram slum (in Bangalore). I am feeling very confident.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We have to work a lot in slums. We have to make them literate and we have to eradicate castism from slums. For that we all have to work together. In Bangalore alone there are 400 slums and Art of Living is working in 105 of those slums. People in slums are addicted to alcohol and we have to stop this. Those very places and countries have lost their culture where people were too much into alcohol. People in these areas earn good money but they spent more than half of that on alcohol. How can we stop them? By giving them an alternative source of intoxication, by bringing them to satsang and making them experience intoxication and the joy of meditation. Do you feel intoxication in meditation and satsang? (‘Yes’ from the audience) So, you feel change after doing all this. All DKP yuvacharyas (youth leaders) have to go to slums and work in these places. You may face some obstacles but walk ahead and keep working. A member of the audience shares an experience: “I did the basic course three months ago in Andhra Pradesh. The happiness I have experienced in the last three months, I didn’t experience in the last 26 years of my life. I am very thankful to you.”

Guru Purnima - Significance

on Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hindus attach paramount importance to spiritual gurus. Gurus are often equated with God and always regarded as a link between the individual and the Immortal. Just as the moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun, and glorifies it, all disciples can dazzle like the moon by gaining from their Gurus.

What is Guru Purnima?
Guru Purnima is the day when Hindus gather to celebrate and to honor Vyasa, the original guru and traditional author of the Vedas, along with their own gurus, spiritual guides. The festival takes place on the full moon day of the Indian month of Ashad, corresponding to July-August of the Western calendar. The word purnima means "full-moon", hence the name Guru Purnima, "the full-moon day of the guru". For its connection with Vyasa, the event is also called Vyasa Purnima.

Significance of Guru Purnima:
On this day, all spiritual aspirants and devotees worship Vyasa in honor of his divine personage and all disciples perform a 'puja' of their respective spiritual preceptor or 'Gurudevs'.
This day is of deep significance to the farmers, for it heralds the setting in of the much-needed rains, as the advent of cool showers usher in fresh life in the fields. It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons.

Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual 'sadhana' from this day. The period 'Chaturmas' ("four months") begins from this day. In the past, wandering spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic discussions.

It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of Guru-Tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the Guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby re-affirms its belief and allegiance to it. For, the true Indian knows that the Guru is the only guarantee for the individual to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death, and experience the Consciousness of the Reality."

Mystics such as Kabir sing that he can even forsake God for Guru as Guru only showed the path to godliness. This is the ultimate relationship, an unparallel reltionship in human experience, between the master and disciple.

The disciple is ever grateful to his master, but Guru Poornima is the day that is celebrated as an expression of this gratitude.

A guru is the one who liberates us and with whom we are in deep love, faith and reverence. A guru is a presence. Through him one gets the first glimpse of divinity. A guru creates, transforms and gives a new birth to a seeker so that with complete trust one can follow his guru while traveling through many unknown paths and doors and opening many unknown locks. A guru’s blessing is a vital phenomenon -Through him one starts coming up like a seed trying to sprout towards the sky.


"The Guru's form should be meditated upon; the feet of the Guru should be worshipped; his words are to be treated as a sacred Mantra; his Grace ensures final liberation".

Dhyaana moolam guror murtih;
Pooja moolam guror padam;
Mantra moolam guror vakyam;
Moksha moolam guror kripa


Question and your go...

on Monday, May 10, 2010

Q. I feel that prayers do not come from my heart. What to do to pray from the heart?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Nothing. Do not do anything about it, just be natural. You cannot force yourself to like anything or force love and devotion. The more effort you make, the longer it takes. Be clear about two things. First, never doubt someone’s love for you or your love for someone else. Second, don’t make an effort to love or insist that someone should love you. These are the impediments on the path of love.

Q. With regard to accepting people as they are, I find it very hard to accept the people who are insincere towards their work, especially those who report to me.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Very good. Don’t accept them as they are. Take strict action and handle them skillfully.
People don’t change overnight, yet people do change. Nobody will remain the same as far as imperfections are concerned. Perfection remains the same. Truth is always one, lies can be many.

Q. How to decide that enough is enough? I have a child and want to go for a divorce.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ask yourself, have you given 100 percent. If the mind says no, you have given your 80 percent or even 95 percent, then wait till you give your 100 percent. Even better, give your 101 percent for the sake of the children. A little sacrifice for the children will take you a long way
Even after that if it does not work, then in a friendly manner tell your partner that your paths are different and it is better to part.

Q. What is the difference between idea and thought?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First you tell me their meanings and I will tell you the difference. We attach meaning to words. You got it?

Q. Please tell us more about dispassion on the spiritual path.
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dispassion is centeredness. Dispassion is not disappointment or having a long face. It is being satisfied looking for something higher.

Q. How to balance studies, work and seva?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How do you balance a bicycle? Exactly the same way.

Q. What is the purpose of life?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is a golden question. One who knows the answer will not tell you. Anybody who attempts to answer you, do not listen to him. This question can kindle the quest within you.

Q. What is the place of spirituality in life?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you want to watch television what would you choose - to see or hear first? Both simultaneously. Similarly, the spiritual path brings energy, enthusiasm, creativity and calmness in your life. They are absolutely essential. That is like body and mind, both go together.
Life is a combination of ethereal and spiritual. Something not tangible and something very tangible, the body.

Q. In the present day, corporate world there is a pressure to commit fraudulent activities. How to handle these situations?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Skillfully. If your boss tells you to do fraud, avoid it skillfully. Finally, say that your consciousness does not allow you to commit fraud. If you do fraud then the boss will escape and you will be put behind bars. However hundred percent truth is also not workable, it is only an ideal.
There is an ancient Indian proverb that says that as much lies are allowed as there is salt in food. For example, if you want to sell your product, it may not be the best; still you can say that your product is the best. That much lies are permissible. Ancient people have said this, thousands of years back. It is fascinating how they handled the human mind.

Q. Are our sins forgiven by God or does the Sudarshan Kriya clean them off?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, all the past is washed off. Definitely if you do Sudarshan Kriya it releases all the past impressions and makes you fresh and lively.

Q. How would you describe the Art of Living organization? Is it philanthropic, spiritual or humanitarian?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All in one. It is everything - philanthropy, social, and spiritual. We discuss knowledge, do service activities, sing together and do interfaith dialogue and feel that we are one world family.

Q. When we have a guru, is there a need for astrology?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Astrology is a science but astrologers are not so scientific.

Q. In the Bhagwad Geeta, there are two ways described for liberation. Bhakti Marg- the way of devotion andGyan Marg- the way of knowledge. Which one is better?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: They are not two different paths. Suppose, you like rice pudding. How do you like rice pudding without knowing what is rice pudding. The knowledge of it will kindle a liking for it. Love and knowledge go hand in hand. Once you know about something, you go and buy it. Bhakti, Gyan and Karmaare three legs of the same table.
Krishna tells Arjuna all those steps and finally says drop all and just relax. For you everything is done. Shama jali hai tere liye tujhko kuch nahi karna hai, the lamp is lit for you, you don’t have to do anything.

Q. If we are all God, then why do we have so many Gods and Goddesses?
H.H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The sun’s light is one, yet when it goes through a prism, seven colors come up. All gods and goddesses are part of one truth. One Supreme Self is referred to as Devi, Shiva, Ganesh, Kartikaya. Lord Krishna says rudranam shankaraschasmi, of rudras, I am Shankara. I am the moon, the sun, I am Shiva, I am the Ganges river, I am everything.