Sunday, October 23, 2011

Q: Why is the material world considered to be a world of misery?

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Q: Why is the material world considered to be a world of misery?
Sri Sri: It is the mind which makes you feel it is a misery. This world is a part of the divinity. So, instead of blaming the world look inside.
Q: Guruji I work in a hospital where people are dying and I am hoping to bring this yoga there. I am facing a little difficulty in understanding what is the difference between the yoga of living and the yoga of dying?
Sri Sri: You must have heard by now yoga has eight limbs. I don’t know how much of pranayama and asanas(postures) you can make someone do when they are sick and dying. It may not be possible at all. Some good bhajans(uplifting music), soft and instrumental music will also help. This is called laya yoga. Some words of wisdom will help. This is gyan yoga. Your mere presence there will help. Your being there without any effort will help. When we are in the ‘doing’ consciousness, thinking what to do, we reduce our energy. When we are in the ‘being’ consciousness, suddenly the light, air and energy come in you. You can make them feel better with that presence and energy of yours.
Q: I want to understand the relation between spirituality and the material world? Do material prosperity and the spiritual world coexist?
Sri Sri: Spirituality and Prosperity coexist but greed and spirituality can’t coexist. Unethical means of earning money and spirituality simply cannot coexist. If you have a factory or a business, you can continue do that and still be very ethical. You don’t have to leave your industry; your industry may be giving employment to a few hundred or more people. There is no need of saying materialism is bad and leaving that you want to go towards spirituality. That is not at all necessary. You can continue doing your duty. This is what is expressed in one of the scriptures ‘Ashtavakra’ where Ashtavakra told king Janaka that he can be a king and be totally spiritual. King Janaka was the embodiment of the highest knowledge. There are many examples like this. What I usually say is ‘keep money in your pocket and not in your heart or head’. When the money is wrongly placed that is when the problem arises. In India, materialism and spirituality are not in conflict with each other. Lakshmi – the symbol of material prosperity is portrayed pressing the feet of Narayana - the symbol of spirituality. We always say LaxmiNarayana which refers to the combination of wealth and spirit. But it is very important to note that greed and spirituality don’t go together. Unfortunately we associate negative tendencies like greed and jealousy with materialism. Even if you have to do charity, you can’t do it with an empty bowl. How can you think of feeding ten hungry children with no money at hand? Is it not your dharma to feed them? In one of the ancient scriptures in India, it is said ‘Righteousness comes from wealth, and right and ethical governance is the basis of the economy’. I think it is all connected. And the most important is the faith in the being, the highest self - the faith that I am going to get whatever I need and whenever I need. Then you give miracle a chance. Materialism is measuring every step too much. (Then you don’t know when the stock market is going to crash and banks are going to be bankrupt.) Don’t bank your faiths on the banks but bank your faith on the divinity and the power of your own sankalpa (positive intention) and thoughts.

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