Friday, December 5, 2014

Gurudev, it has been said in the Yoga sutra ‘Tivra samveganam asannaha’ (Those who seek liberation wholeheartedly without feverishness attain liberation quickly). For liberation does one need speed or peace?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes, you need a quick pace. Often when we need to do something good, we say 'Inshaallah!' (an Urdu wish meaning ‘May God will it so’), and we often say that if God thinks it best it will happen, etc.

When it is for ourselves, if we want a car or a job, we put in our full effort to get it. However, for other things, we say, if God wishes it will happen.
If it is about coming to the Ashram, you conveniently say, when Gurudev wishes, he will call me there. When have I ever told you not to come, or not to meditate, but you say, when the calling comes, I will be there.
If you have to go out for a movie or to a restaurant, then you don’t say that only when God calls you will go. For your own entertainment, you do things at your own will, but when it comes to doing your sadhana (spiritual practices), you say that only when God wills, it will happen. Your mind is very clever at doing this.
Whatever gains you want in life, leave it to karma or fate, but liberation is in your hands and depends on your purushartha (efforts).

Gurudev, when does an action leave an impression on the consciousness?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When an action is too pleasurable or too painful, it leaves a mark.

Gurudev, does the ego increases with self sufficiency?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is not necessary that the ego should increase with an increase in independence or with self- sufficiency. We should understand that in spite of being self sufficient, we are dependent on God; we are dependent on Paramatma, (referring to the Supreme Being or the all-pervading Divinity).

Q: Gurudev, What is the role of surrender in fulfillment of desires? And what is the difference between desires and intentions? Which is more important – putting effort or relying on the God?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There are two schools of thought. One is you visualize dream and work for it. Other school of thought says surrender everything to God, whatever God gives you is the best, and God will take care of everything for you. Where is the compatibility? They appear to be completely opposite. One is your own visualization, your own dream and your perseverance, and another is having trust in God and leaving everything on God. They appear to be incompatible but I would say they are very much compatible. It is good to have an intention or a goal. You don’t need to keep on visualizing your goal 24*7. But continuing to work for that, you leave it to the Divine. Only the combination of two will work. It is beautifully described in scriptures: You take a vision or goal and then you offer it to the Divine while working for that – “This is what I want and you know what is best for me. If this or anything better, I am ready to accept.” Sometimes you don’t know what you want. If you know what you want, it is not difficult to get it. Half the time we are unsure of what we want. Often you find if you are persistent to get something, you don’t want the same thing the next week, the next month or the next year. So, before you take an intention, you expand your awareness. So, put an intention in the universe - I want this or anything better. Now, what is the difference between a desire and an intention? Suppose you want to go to Mumbai from Bangalore. You buy a ticket and travel for around three hours and go there. But you don’t keep chanting in your mind all this time that you want to go to Mumbai and you are going to Mumbai. You may even land up in a mental Hospital like this! Desire is the feverishness that clogs on to an intention. An intention is a desire free from feverishness. And then working towards your intention, this faith is to be there that whatever nature brings back is for my growth.

Gurudev, does a person receive the Guru’s love as per his paatrata (capacity to receive Grace or blessings)? Or is it that the more deserving or capable ones reach you faster?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There is nothing like it. You have already come to me. Those who have not reached are waiting for you to bring them here.

Gurudev, Vedanta says let go of everything, but our scriptures advise to take everything. Which is the better option?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
To let go, you need to be holding on to something in the first place. So both are right. If one says get into the bus and the other says exit the bus, unless you get into the bus, you cannot exit. So you need to do both.

Gurudev, I was at the Mahashivaratri celebrations yesterday and the energy was unbelievable. My question is that, if the universe or Earth is impacted by our presence on this festival, then is the experience the same whether we are alone or with a large number of people?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Even those who wanted to come here but could not come, or thought of it or participated in it in any manner, they all get blessings. There is no doubt about it.

Gurudev, when there is a conflict between two things and both feel right, then how do you choose?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Relax. If there is confusion, relax. The right thing will come up by itself. Choose whatever gives happiness in the long term. Even if it is not so pleasant in the short term, it doesn’t matter. What gives you happiness temporarily but results in suffering in the long term, then that is not a good option.

Dear Gurudev, can you make me meet God?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Definitely, I am here to do exactly that. First, just become totally content and happy from within. Then you will get all that you want.

Gurudev, in the Mahabharata who was closer to guru, Eklavya or Arjuna? How did Eklavya get such profound knowledge just with his Guru’s idol. How is that possible?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
'Shraddhavan labhate jnanam matparassamyat indriyaha', (one with faith gains knowledge).
When one has faith, knowledge flows to them. Faith brings the knowledge.
Nobody needed to tell Eklavya to surrender, or to have faith, but Arjuna had to be told. Sri Krishna tells him, 'You better listen to me'.
Krishna had to tell Arjuna, but he did not have to tell Radha, or Yashoda, or Vidhur. But he had to tell Arjuna to surrender and have faith.
First he says, 'Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese'rjuna tishthati', God is in everybody’s heart, he is in your heart, take refuge in him.
The he finally says, 'Mam ekam saranam vraja', (you surrender to me).
Later on he tells him of the three persons, 'He' 'You' and 'I' (first person, second persons and third person). So in all the three persons, Sri Krishna has taught Arjuna.
It is so beautiful. If you sit and analyze, so much wisdom comes at every point, that it is amazing.
But he had to tell him, 'Arjun, you better surrender to me', because his mind was here and there. He didn’t have to tell others.
That is the difference. Nobody had to tell Eklavya, his faith was so strong.

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