Happiness should also be controlled. When we are happy, we should channelize our happiness. Sukh mein seva dukh mein tyaag – memorize this formula.
When you are happy, do some sevice, and when you are sad or miserable then surrender your sorrow. If you do not have the attitude of surrender, sorrow will never leave you. If one does not surrender even in sorrow, then there is no way out for that person. Surrender and service, both should go together in life.
The happiness that we are experiencing must be given a direction.
See how joyful we are – we have been meditating since morning and we all feel so good. We must think, what do we have to do so that everyone may experience this joy?
Do seva, we have to build a corruption-free, violence-free, and oppression-free society. For that we have to fight against ignorance. There are a variety of superstitions in our country and we have to eliminate those. There is illiteracy which we have to remove. We have to fight against ignorance.
To all those people who are watching (the webcast), I would tell them too that they should meditate for a little while every day. Meditation increases joy, keeps the body healthy, intellect sharp and makes one intuitive – whatever is about to happen gets reflected in the mind beforehand.
Embrace all bad thoughts. Why? Because if you try to chase them away, they will persist. So if you shake hands with them, they will immediately go away.
Kshane Kshane Uparameti – slowly, gradually, as the mind is released from the stream of thoughts, within two to four minutes, or ten to fifteen minutes, the mind settles. As we continue to practice this, such a joy and peace will arise and honesty will become the nature of our life. We will not have to make any effort to be honest; honesty will become our nature. We must keep ourselves open.
Annaji (Anna Hazare) has come here today. In his life he has always had a completely open personality; a deep sense of belongingness with everyone. Just as we are here, absolute openness!
This same kind of openness on your part – to do something for the country, to sacrifice and feel, ‘I don’t need anything for myself, everything is for my country.’ If this spirit awakens in every one of our youth, then the very look of the country will change.
It has to change and we will have to bring that change, there is no other option.
Are you all ready?
Annaji, your army is ready! We have a factory here for preparing the army!
Without going inward, life will not move in the right direction. Neither will there be success at work – for success at work also one has to go inward, at least for a little while every day. When one achieves success at work, then there will be stability in life and we become peaceful. And then, whatever we wish for will start happening. How many of you have experienced this?
This is the significance of the spirituality of India – Sankalpa Siddhi. Defeat does not come near us. Why? It is because of the increase in sattva. When there is an increase in satoguna, you can gain victory over the world. Wherever you go, in whichever corner, no matter what kind of challenge you face, you will overcome it effortlessly with a smile.
How? It will not be the achievement of a single individual or the small mind. It is the universal consciousness, the cosmic consciousness, the supreme power – when we get connected to it, only then can we achieve success and attain perfection (siddhi).
There is an old saying in U.P. (Uttar Pradesh) Ram jharokhe baithe sabka mujra le. This is proven in life, so if you try to do something without spirituality, you will never achieve success. Spirituality is our essence, our foundation, and the very basis of our life. So, hold on to it, and then see how everyone’s mind changes, even the worst minds change.
Nobody in this world is bad but even those who appear to be bad, we can transform their minds also. There is so much power in this knowledge. That is why it has been called Brahma Gyaan (supreme knowledge).
Yesterday, someone asked me, ‘Why have all these corrupt people come here?’
I said, ‘I would like you to bring all the corrupt people in the world here, to the ashram.’ Let them come and sit here for some time, and witness the joy here. They give so much importance to money because there is no love in life, no sacrifice, no peace has been experienced, no joy achieved. If they experience the joy here then money will lose its charm. If they could jump and dance like all of you and sing in ecstasy, then everything else will lose its charm. Wealth, alcohol are nothing, they have no juice. So let there be juice in life.
So, just like how you have found such joy in life, spread this joy and this juice to everyone around you. Let them drink it – you drink and make others also drink. In a bar, the bartender makes others drink, but does not drink himself. But we first drink ourselves, and then make others drink.
Today Arvindji (Arvind Kejriwal) is also sitting with us. He is so good, so articulate, so informative. He keeps all information and knowledge. There is intense love for the country in Arvind’s heart. Every one of us are with him, and he has a lot to do for the country in the future.
The voice of truth should be bold. Make your voice so powerful that it is heard in every corner. Love for the country (desh prem) and love for God (daiva prem) are not separate. If you love God, you will definitely love your country, because it is the creation of God after all! They both are not separate. And if you love the world, the creator who is sitting inside you, you will turn towards Him also and thank Him sometime. If you don’t do that, it will not work.
See, each one of us is like corn. Corn is hard and popcorn is soft and white. In the same way, energy from the meditation and all these (practices) makes the corn pop and become fluffy! It makes your heart open and your mind clear. It is such beautiful wisdom. Isn’t it such a nice and great wisdom?!
Q: Guruji, all of us seem to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but very few have an idea about their own lives. Why is it so and what can we do about it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now, are you talking about yourself, or your spouse, or someone else?
Of course, your spouse will give you ideas on how you should be living and what you should be doing, and your mother will give you advice, your sister will dictate you, and your daughter will tell you ‘Papa, this is how you should behave.’
The same happens with women also. Your husband will tell you and your brother will advise you.
You are swamped with advices. You are bombarded with advices. Take them and listen to them, but don’t lose sight of what you want to do. Don’t lose sight of your goal.
Set up a goal for yourself and one for society, where you want the society to go.
Now, advices are not bad. You can’t discard all the advices. At the same time, you can’t take them all in. So, you need to keep your mind very open. What is it that you want in life? What progress have you made? Look into it.
Every now and then, we need to revisit our own state of mind. ‘Where are we going? What is it that I want? What I did, is it correct or what I am going to do, is it right?’ This introspection is essential.
Q: Guruji, you just mentioned about the stream of thoughts. Is there anything we can do to stop or reduce the bombarding of thoughts?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Thoughts are part of your consciousness; they come and go.
Now, how to get rid of thoughts? There are four ways.
One is when you are shocked. If you get a shock, even an electrical shock, your mind goes blank. I don’t want you to do that (get an electrical shock) and get to that (state)! Every shocking incident creates blankness in your mind.
Second is music. If you are singing, if you are participating in music, then also thoughts become less.
Any strong emotion can bring down the number of thoughts at that particular time.
The third is exercise.
And the fourth is with pranayama and deep meditation.
Still, if you are bombarded with too many negative thoughts, know that something must be wrong with your bowel movement. Do Shankh Prakshalan (intestinal cleansing). That would also help. It will make your mind much calmer. But pranayama and meditation is the best.
Q: Dear Guruji, we are all the same at the very core. Then, why do some people long to know about the self and spirituality and other people do not? Isn’t it the same spirit in them too?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, it varies. Different people have different interests. Some people are so fond of mathematics. Ask Bawa (Khurshed Batliwala); he is so fond of mathematics. He did a video on mathematics ((a+b)2 = a2+2ab+b2) and there were so many hits that the server crashed! There were two and half lakh hits on that website.
So, he (Bawa) is a genius in mathematics and he goes into it. And ask D.K. Hari, he has explored history so well! Hari has made a book on corruption called ‘U Turn India’. It is a very well thought about plan on how India can turn around to make a better economy; change the economy of the whole state from the very basis.
The Ganges, which we think is a natural river, he has proved that it is a man-made river. It is an artificial river, with all proof and evidence. If you go to bharatgyan.com, it is amazing work that Hema and Hari have done.
So, it is the interest, and some people get this inquisitiveness, this interest to know ‘Who am I?’ ‘What is this consciousness?’ ‘What is this Self?’ ‘Who is this Self?’
‘I eat, sleep, drink, and do all this activity, but finally who am I? One day I am going to die; after death what will happen to me? Where do I go?’
These questions come. They are very natural and they show the sign of maturity of intellect. Only a mature intellect can fathom into spirituality; the quest of spirit of enquiry comes then. So, when India was materially very prosperous, spirituality also dawned. When India was spiritually at its peak, it is exactly then when it was also materially very prosperous. But today, it has gone down in both; it needs a U-turn.
Q: Guruji, is there any effective way of dealing with anxiety? I feel anxious even for small household jobs.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Ujjayi pranayam. Keep doing it several times now and then and notice it will start reducing from the very first sitting. Also, regular meditation.
Q: Dear Guruji, while answering a question, you mentioned that our energy level goes down after watching movies. But when I watch you Guruji, I feel more energy.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That’s ok! So, you have your own experience.
What I am saying is, when you see people who go into movie theatres, they look so fresh and energetic. When they come out of the movie theatre, look at their faces. They look so tired and dull! They are not coming out with great enthusiasm or energy, but all drained. Isn’t it the experience?
I am not saying you should never watch movies. You can watch movies, doesn’t matter, but not too many and not too often, take care.
You need to be updated about the news, but you don’t have to watch the same violence, domestic fights and all these sort of things. Then when you close your eyes you see all that violence in your mind. That is no good for a Sadhak.
Q: Dear Guruji, I don’t have any questions. All I want to say is that I love you and thank you for everything. But tell me Guruji, do you want to say anything to me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, I have been saying it all the time! What I want to say, I keep saying, right?
Q: (A member of the audience spontaneously asked a question without speaking into the mike. The question was inaudible in the recording.)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, you should never think the future is karma or destiny. See the past as destiny, future as free will and be happy in the present. This is the intelligent way to be. You know what the fools do? They keep regretting the past, thinking the past was free will, and they think future is all destined and they don’t do anything about it and in the present they are miserable. So, you have two choices, got it?
Q: What is the principle behind the Shiva Linga? Please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Love is Shiva. The substance which is everywhere is Shiva.
Something that is everywhere, how can we recognize it? To recognize it as a symbol, a stone is kept, a form is kept. That is it.
God is not in that form. The form is a symbol that reminds us of God. It is like you look at your grandfather’s photo and say this is my grandfather. Seeing the photo you get reminded of your grandfather or grandmother or mother. But is that photo your grandfather or grandmother? No! Because of the photo, we get reminded of them. In the same way, through the form we worship the substance beyond the form.
Q: It is said that there are similarities between Islam and Christianity and also Christianity and Hinduism. Is there any similarity between Hinduism and Buddhism?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, definitely. Gautama Buddha was born as a Hindu, and then he became a Sanyasi. There is no difference between what Gautama Buddha said and what is there in the Upanishads. It is almost the same.
In Hinduism, we went into a lot of rituals and customs; he said there is no need for all these.
Killing animals for sacrifice should not be done. No need for yagyas. Thus he took people from that state to the state of meditation. Buddha spoke about meditation.
In Buddhism, it is said that let everyone be happy, let all the Gods take care of us. It is the same that is said in the Upanishads.
Q: Guruji, I want to give these peacock feathers to you and Annaji.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Keep the wings with yourself, you have to take flight. We have already flying. You need it, keep it with you. Learn to fly! I don’t take feathers, I give feathers!