Sunday, September 21, 2014

Q: Gurudev, What would be your best memory of happiness?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Happiness is when you want nothing, and you want to give. Where the wanting and desires end, and the sharing begin, happiness is exactly there. Memory is not happiness. When you are happy, you forget everything. It is when happiness is gone that you dwell in its memory. In the world, people are either dreaming of happiness or remembering happiness. That is either being in the past or the future. But happiness is that which is in the present. And it is your very nature.

Q: Gurudev, How to be one pointed on path? There are so many distractions pulling us back.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
With wisdom you come back. This very question indicates you are coming back, in fact you have already come back, and you are not distracted. Through wisdom or misery you are brought back to the center. When you go away from the center, you are beaten; you start crying and then come back to your center. Wise come back to the center through wisdom. The not- so- wise face problems here and there and then come back to the center. This is the law of nature. This is how things are.

Q: Gurudev, How important is prana (life force energy)? Of course, it gives life. How does one improve one’s prana?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Prana is present in everything. In fact, we are floating in an ocean of prana. When the unit of expression varies, it makes a difference. Stones have got one unit of prana. Water has got two units of prana. Fire has got three units of prana. Air has got four units of prana. Plants have got five units of prana. Animals have got six units of prana. Human beings are capable of holding from seven to 16 units of prana. The expression of prana is the whole universe. When prana is lower than, that’s when you feel depressed. When prana goes further low, then you feel suicidal. When prana is normal, you feel normal. When prana is higher, you feel enthusiastic. When prana is very high, you feel energetic and blissful. That is why, when people are depressed, or feeling low just giving counselling doesn’t work, what needs to be done is to raise the level of prana. When prana is high there is joy, vibrancy and understanding. When prana is low, the mind starts complaining and then depression, lethargy, suicidal tendencies arise. All is play and display of prana. Now how do we increase prana? This is where meditation, practices, Satsang, yoga, Satvic diet etc all come into play.

Q: Gurudev, Why is Krishna’s navel called Padmanabha (Solar Plexus)?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Solar Plexus is second brain or mid brain. For a Yogi, Solar Plexus is larger in size. Scientists have also said this. It is small in a person who doesn’t do yoga and meditation. When solar plexus is larger, one is creative and generous. When it is smaller, one is jealous. Krishna is called Padmanabha, his Solar Plexus is like a fully blossomed flower. Padma not only means lotus, it also means flower. Fully blossomed flower is usually referred to as padma.

Q: Gurudev, Guruji it is hard to see people you love harm and victimize themselves. So do we take their responsibility? Where do we draw that fine line?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Love is not that mushy mushy stuff. Often we confuse our emotional entanglement or mess and give it a name ‘love’. No. Hurt is a part of love. Whenever you love somebody even if they don’t do anything against you, you may still feel hurt. This is because you want to express love fully but love can’t be fully expressed. You can’t and when you can’t you feel something is lacking. And when you feel there is something lacking to commune, you feel hurt. It needs just a little trigger from other person and then you say ‘you don’t care’, ‘you are insensitive’ and ‘let’s sort it out’, and when you talk it out, you make whole mess of it.
In the beginning days of Ashram here, there was a German student who was divorced three times. He came here and fell in love with Italian girl. She didn’t know German and he didn’t know Italian, and both didn’t know English. They came to me to seek blessings, and I said surely but with one condition that the boy shouldn’t learn Italian and the girl shouldn’t learn German. Now they are already happily married for 20 years. It is talking too much that makes a mess of everything. Love is not to be expressed but felt. Dimension of love is different from intellectual talking or expression.
In west love is over expressed. While sitting, standing you keep on telling each other how much do you love, and no love remains in the end. In the beginning you say, “I can’t live without you”, and you end up saying, “I can’t live with you” (laughter). It is entirely opposite in the east. They don’t express it at all. They keep everything inside to boil, but never express love. Both are at loss. I often give example of a seed. Love is like a seed. If you sow it too deeply, it won’t get sprouted. Also, if you put it on the top of ground then also nothing is sprouted. When a little soil is dug and seed is sown, it sprouts up. Same is with love. Don’t express it too much and end up with ‘let’s sort it out’. That middle path is the way.

Q: Gurudev, You have talked about hidden meanings behind symbols in Hinduism which seem to be very illogical. Could you please talk about many crores of devtas.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Crore, Koti means types. 33 crores means 33 types of divine impulses. In our body also there are 33 types of divine impulses. In our genes also there are 33 types. A particular type makes the eye, a particular type makes the nose, and like that a particular type makes eardrums, hair, nails. Like this there are 33 rays of divinity. One light, one God, one Parmatma but there are 33 aspects. Devas are the 33 different aspects of divinity. Here crore is not referred to as a number. Divine has no form but ancient saints have said you can adore him in any form or names. All the thousand names belong to God only. This is very deep science or deep knowledge. It’s amazing. When you go more and more deep into this, then you feel wow. People who have discovered this and written this have simply stupendous knowledge. The universe is not so simple. It’s very complex. Modern physics also says that deeper and deeper there are so many different type of particles. So the diverse universe and the divinity which manages, rules and has made this diverse universe is devta. The English name David is a Sanskrit word. Dev + vid, dev means divinity, vid means to know. David means one who knows the divinity. Divinity is not somewhere up in the heaven. It is present in the world, universe, everywhere. And it has to be realized that when the mind is calm, serene and settled in our heart and when emotion and intellect merge into a serene blend in silence, then you are able to perceive the subtle reality of Universe and that is devta.

Q: Gurudev, Because I travel a lot to places where vegetarian food is hard to find, I sometimes end up eating wrong foods and find energy is really low and there is heaviness in the head. What to do in such situations?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You know when people have some allergies, just because of company they don’t eat those foods for which they have allergies. Suppose you have allergy to carbonated drinks, and because the company is all drinking, you’ll not say, ‘Ok, I’ll also drink.’ Because you know that you’ll suffer. Right?
So similarly, you can choose your food in any company, you can say, ‘Ok. If nothing is available, I am going to eat only chips, or vegetables, or bread.’ You are not compelled to eat non-veg or unhealthy food if you don’t want to. Ok? You don’t need to drink carbonated drinks if you don’t feel it’s good for you. Right? See, when people drink lots of carbonated drinks, it burns the lining of the stomach and the intestine. Later on you develop so many problems. All these carbonated drinks should be avoided. Someone had demonstrated, if a tooth, a tooth which had fallen is put in a cup of carbonated drink, it dissolves! That corrosive fluid can cause so much damage to our intestine, our brain, and our nerve cells. So, we must keep healthy eating habits and propagate them.
Today is much better than 30 years ago. 30 years ago, when we started, people were very allergic to vegetarianism and spirituality. But today, it has become a fashion. Because we create a trend and keep it moving.

Q: Gurudev, Guruji I want to know how to have harmonious relation with juniors and at the same time take work from them?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Create a sense of belongingness with your juniors. You know that they respect you and you need to be cordial with them. Respect needs some distance, this distance is good but that should be of an arm’s length and not longer than that. A little distance is ok to keep the respect among your juniors but too much distance will bring a breakdown in communication. You need to maintain that balance. A little bit distance needs to be there so that respect is maintained at the same time communication is cordial.

Q: Gurudev, How do we protect our mind?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
That is a big job. In the Geeta it is said, even the most brilliant people are confused about what to do and what not to, and how to handle the mind. Protecting the mind is a very great task but to do it we need knowledge. Up to this moment, see all that has happened so far. It all gone! Finished. Wake up. When you are full of energy, prana, you suddenly see it all gone. Now! All that happened is ok. Think about what to do now. Sometimes 100 percent of what you do will be successful, sometimes not. A farmer knows that not every seed that he sows will sprout. He takes the seeds and throws them in the field, and does not worry that this seed will sprout, this won't. From now on, it a new chapter. Every day is a new chapter. Bring up this awareness again and again. The whole world is filled with my atma (soul) it all Me. It one Consciousness. This one consciousness works through one person in one way, through another person in another way. It is one ocean with many waves. If this vision comes to you even for just five seconds then there will be such a major transformation in your body and mind. Then a realization will spring in you Aho! All worries are washed off. Just for a second, recognize that it only Me in my enemy. I myself have started the Game. Understand this, but don't turn it into a mood making. Have this understanding only in the nivriti, not in the pravritti mode. If we bring advaita (non-duality) in vyavahar (behavior), we only create more delusion. In pravritti, see duality. Taking up of the human form is impossible without pravritti. How much pravritti and nivriti one should have is a very sensitive matter. When there is more pravritti, then one becomes too negative and one is asked to be in nivriti.In India, dand (punishment) is called shiksha(education). The word saja(punishment) comes from shiksha (education). Earlier, they would not punish someone out of anger but out of compassion. When there would be too much pravritti in someone, they would put him in a room (jail) providing food, sleep and rest. Like a doctor puts people in hospital when the body is sick, when our kritya (action) is sick, the karta (doer) is put in jail. When you have both pravritti and nivriti, you are successful.

Q: Gurudev, I’m not strong enough to take a commitment for whole one year. What can I do?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Not strong enough? Take one day at a time. You are strong enough to take commitment for one day, and that is enough. And each day you can continue doing it. Don’t think of one long year, “oh my God! One year I’ve to do something! Today I do, that’s good. Tomorrow I do, that’s good”.

Q: Gurudev, These practices bring so much inner comfort. If I do a lot of practice, will it make me more happy?

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Q: Gurudev, These practices bring so much inner comfort. If I do a lot of practice, will it make me more happy?

Q: Gurudev, There are many things in my life which I think are not ok. I don’t know what to do about these things

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When you say, ‘It’s not ok, it’s not ok’, the seed of ‘not ok’ is not letting your mind to relax. When do you go to bed? When everything is ok, and when there is comfort. When you are hanging on to the discomfort, how can you ever be comfortable? You have to accept things as they are. ‘It’s not ok, it’s not ok’ keeps you all outside. Those imperfections are there for a cause or purpose. It is going to be ok, it will take some time. Things are ok the way they are now, They will be ok in the future Whatever happened in the past was ok. When you understand this, you relax and in that relaxation you can meditate. When you want to retire, its nivriti but when you want to come out (of rest) its pravritti. Then you can act. When you are tired but you are hanging on to what is not ok - then you cannot retire. When you have to chill out, what do you say? ‘Everything is perfect,’ otherwise you can’t chill, you can’t act! It is neither pravritti, nor nivriti. Dhyan yoga is nivriti, Karma yoga is pravritti. Most people are hanging onto the ‘not ok’ and are unable to relax, to enjoy life, to chill, to be creative. They are holding onto the seed of ‘not ok’. That person, this situation, the government, the administration - everything is not ok. Then it comes to you - I am not ok. Subtly, it reflects on you that you are not OK. Then you don't like that feeling, and to cover that up, you make up many justifications and the mind is all confused. If tamogun is too much, you don't know the pravritti or the nivriti. When there is Satva, then we know what to act, when to act, whether to act or not. When Rajogun prevails then its half way through - you regret and act. Many of us act and then we regret. Mother scolds her child, regrets it and then becomes nice. In Satva, you don't regret, you retire and relax, there is clarity. In Rajogun, there is confusion and chaos. In Tamogun, there is total inertia and lethargy. There is no strict border between the three gunas. It is very fluid, one flows into another.

Q: Gurudev, Why is Krishna’s navel called Padmanabha (Solar Plexus)?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Solar Plexus is second brain or mid brain. For a Yogi, Solar Plexus is larger in size. Scientists have also said this. It is small in a person who doesn’t do yoga and meditation. When solar plexus is larger, one is creative and generous. When it is smaller, one is jealous. Krishna is called Padmanabha, his Solar Plexus is like a fully blossomed flower. Padma not only means lotus, it also means flower. Fully blossomed flower is usually referred to as padma.

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