Monday, December 12, 2011

There is a common thread in all different religions

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Q: Why are there so many different philosophies?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why not? God loves diversity. What if there was only okra to eat? But you have potatoes, tomatoes, beans, all kinds of fruits, vegetables and flowers. God seems to love diversity. He has created so many of us in different shapes, features and colors. He is definitely not a military person, an army general. A spirit that loves diversity must be diverse in itself too. That is what the rishis (Ancient saints) found in meditation. There is only one Ganesh and one Vishnu, but in so many different forms. See unity in diversity and celebrate diversity. Our rishis in the past had spoken of tolerance, acceptance, diversity and equal opportunity.

Why the difference? Find the common thread in different religions. According to different places, there are different customs. Time has created differences. There was one Buddha, now we have thirty-two forms of Buddhism, one Jesus Christ and now seventy-two sects of Christianity, and one Prophet Mohamed and now five different sects of Islam. In Hinduism, the variations cannot even be counted! But everyone believes in the Vedas, the Upanishads. How many different sects? Why should they not be there? Let it be there. See unity in diversity.

Q: How do we stop blaming ourselves for failures?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all, don’t pay any attention at all to the mind. If we pay attention, that's it. Instead, pranayama, meditation and yoga are very good solutions.

Q: Many Indians, settled here in the States, are not happy because they feel their children or families are being prevented from making progress in life. They are not coming up for whatever reason. What is the solution for handling this stress?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Is your question that people are not happy in spite of prosperity? Bring them to me. Bring them to the teachers. They will have no choice but to smile. Stress can be eliminated through stress management, dispassion and through a broader outlook to life. When you are 90 yrs old what do you want from this life? What do you want to take? What do you want to give? What impressions do you want to give to the world? What impressions do you want to take from the world? Just ponder. Just be with these few questions and the stress will leave you. Dispassion and breath uplift you. A little bit of devotion or bhakti uplifts you.

Q: Do you ever get angry? What is the solution to anger?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is a very important question. In the 55 years of my life, I have never said a harsh word. I could not do it. The worst I have ever said is, “You stupid.”

Sometimes I want to show anger and people don’t believe me. That is my problem. Things work better with some anger. Anger is good if you are aware of it. It should last only as long as a line drawn on a water surface lasts. Some carry over anger from the previous day, previous month, or ten years ago. The mind suffers. Get out of anger, frustration, jealousy and greed. Meditation will help. Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and yoga are the answers.

Q: What is the place of thought in a free mind?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Where does thought come from? It comes from a free mind or an un-free mind? Thoughts are not free. So, you have answered the question. Free your mind of thoughts for a few moments. When astonished, shocked, in deep love, samadhi, meditation or deep sleep, your mind is free from thoughts. You get energized then.

Q: How do we locate the queen bee within us?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditate, meditate, meditate, meditate, and meditate.

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