Sunday, October 12, 2014

Q: Gurudev, How do we know what our capabilities are and how can we enhance them?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, sometimes we become aware of our own capabilities, and sometimes we come to know about them when someone else speaks about them, or when we hear about it from some third person.
For quite some time, Lord Hanuman was not aware of his strengths too. Someone had to tell him that he was endowed with so much strength and so many abilities.
Sometimes we also get to know about our capabilities from others.
Now, what should you do to know more about them? When you think, 'I am able to do only this much', then just take one step further and see for yourself how you fare. Do not stop by thinking, 'I am not able to do this'.
Just think, 'Let me see how much more can I do', and take one more step ahead.
Yoga is what helps enhance and sharpen one’s capabilities. Yoga is not limited to doing Yogasanas and Pranayamas. Yoga means to unite totally with what you are doing; to become one with the Divine.
All these (yoga) practices enhance our capacity and capabilities. How many of you here felt that ever since you came on the path of Sadhana, your qualities and capabilities have increased much more? (Many in the audience raise their hands) Do you see a difference between what you used to do earlier and what you are doing now? When you came to the path of knowledge, your capability increased, isn’t it? That is what it is.

Q: Gurudev, The blankness (absence of thought) that we feel when we are with the Guru? Is that the ultimate that we should crave for?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There is no ‘we should crave for’. It is a natural phenomenon. You want the best, isn't it? Wanting the best is a natural phenomenon for every human being. And it is important to have the faith that only best will come to me. That is it.

Gurudev, everything in the world is natural - the good and the bad. Then why are we always trying to convert the bad into good?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Because that is also part of our nature.

People are being born, and people die, then why do you need to save anybody from dying? Close down all the hospitals, shut down all the services. Anyways people die, what is the point? How does it matter if they die a little earlier or sometimes later? Sooner the better. This type of logic doesn’t hold good.
Our nature is to help. Our nature is to bring light. Our nature is to bring comfort to others, and make everyone feel happy. We can’t be in anyway different from that.

If you ask alum, 'Why do you clean the water?' It will say, 'It is in my nature'.

If you ask Sun, 'Why do give light to people?' It will say, 'That is my nature'.

If you ask a star, 'Why you twinkle in sky? It doesn’t help anybody'. It will say, 'That it is in my nature, to twinkle'.

So it is our nature to help others, and to bring comfort to life.
Every individual is in search of happiness. Even people who are doing bad things, are doing it in search of happiness. It is just that they don’t know that they won’t get it.
If they knew that they won't get happiness by doing bad things, they would never do it.
They are doing all the wrong things simply because they do not know that they won’t be able to get happiness out of it.

So it is our job to make them aware, 'See, if you keep doing all these wrong things, you are only going to get more miserable. It is better that you do good things, then you will be happy'.

Dear Gurudev, is it alright if I meditate thinking about you, about how beautiful you appear, how wonderful are your eyes, and that your smile is so lovely? Is it alright to meditate upon your form?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, if you are able to meditate effortlessly by remembering someone or something, then that is alright.
Maharishi Patanjali has mentioned in the Yoga Sutras (a treatise on the eight limbs of Yoga) that if you are able to meditate by remembering or contemplating upon an image of someone, or something that is very dear to you, then that is alright.
There are many approaches to meditation.
Here (in the Advanced Meditation Course), by saying that everything around you is hollow and empty, we bring the mind that is turned outwards (to the material world) back inwards to its source. When you become aware that everything around you is hollow and empty, then a deep realization dawns within you.
So meditation is that which happens very effortlessly. But if, while you sit for meditation, you make efforts to remember Gurudev’s image and how he looks, then meditation will not happen.
There is a tradition in which people are taught to meditate by contemplating upon some form.
In the Yoga Sutras it is said, 'Vitraag vishayam-va chittam'. It means that just by thinking about an enlightened and dispassionate soul, one can go deep into meditation. That is why one goes into meditation just by thinking about the Guru. This really does happen, and it is alright. But you need not strain yourself so much to think of the Guru in order to meditate.
Once you are connected with the Master, when you heart becomes one with the Master, and when love dawns from within you, then meditation happens effortlessly.
It is how it was with the Gopis (the womenfolk of Vrindavan where Lord Krishna spent his early years), who were so totally in love with Lord Krishna. The Gopis never made any effort to meditate. They were so soaked in their love for Lord Krishna that they would effortlessly slip into meditation. The moment there is deep love, meditation just happens.
The other approach is that which was taught by Lord Budhha. For meditation, Lord Buddha would say that 'Everything around you is temporary and transient. Nothing will last forever. Just remember that it will all disappear one day'.
So this is another way to meditate.

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