Saturday, January 31, 2015

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.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Gurudev, love is a divine quality. It is said that love can liberate us, but it is seen that love actually binds us. Marriage is also seen as a bondage. So how can this bond be beautiful?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When there is no selfishness in the relationship then it is beautiful. If there is willingness to sacrifice in the relationship, then it becomes beautiful.
Look at the relationship of Shri Ram with his brother Bharat. It was such a strong bond but both of them were willing to sacrifice anything for the other. Such a relationship where there is no selfishness, is a beautiful one. In such a relationship, there is lot of love and peace.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gurudev, is it more important to keep oneself happy or others around happy?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, both are important. If you have become a saint or a sanyasi(one who has renounced everything), then you need to keep others happy, but if you are a samsari (one leading a worldly life), then you need to keep yourself and others happy.

Like a cycle has two wheels, you need to balance both. If you are only trying to make others happy, then you yourself will become sad and if you are sad, then how will you keep others happy?
If you are only interested in keeping yourself happy, then the people around you will be sad and if they are sad, how can you stay happy? Both are dependent on each other, so take the middle path and be happy and keep others happy.
Take time out for yourself. Take care of your own health too and then you can keep others happy. You mustn’t be adamant to always get your way. Sometimes you need to give in and keep others happy too. You must not always insist that only what you say or believe should be followed. No, adopt the middle path. Sometimes listen to others, and sometimes also follow what you feel.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gurudev, in your occupation, is it a big occupational hazard that people get attached to you? How do you handle it?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Don’t even ask me that! (laughter) There are many occupational hazards. Many times I keep walking and someone holds my legs from behind. I have to balance myself to not trip and fall many times. People should listen. See now you are all sitting. When I exit also, you should remain seated. Nobody should get up and run.
I say it all the time and when you get up, that is when you give a chance to these thieves to steal. They come in groups. One will push the others, and pretend to show a lot of devotion and the other will pickpocket at that time.

Can you imagine that they have a gang? They have psychologically studied us very well. When Jai Jai Radha Raman (a concluding devotional song in Art of Living Satsangs) is being sung, everybody is totally immersed in the bliss of the Satsang, and that is the time when they will push someone and pick their pocket from behind.

You all should cooperate and stay seated to prevent such incidents. Anyway, I meet everyone.
I don’t feel comfortable when people fall over each other and elderly ladies and children are pushed down on the floor. Some people will run ahead and overtake the others and approach me before them, saying, 'Gurudev, please bless me'. Then I feel there is something wrong.

So one person will push and try to come forward, and his partner in crime will then pick your pocket from behind in the midst of this confusion.
Some of these old time devotees, though you can’t even call them devotees, they just won’t listen at all. They will jump over people to come to the front and sit and create chaos. I don’t know what to do.
(A member in the audience suggests that such people should be punished). Yes, I am thinking what punishment to give them. They spread indiscipline. It is not in my nature to say no to someone or to be harsh, but these people don’t let me be myself. I have never used any bad words other than calling someone ‘stupid’, or scolded anyone. I don’t know how to be stricter than this. But they are testing my patience.

It is okay. There are all kinds of people in this world and we need to accept everyone.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gurudev, if peace is our nature then what makes violence arise?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Weakness or fear is the root of violence. The fear of extinction or rejection causes violence. Stress causes violence. Stress is also a kind of weakness. Stress or tiredness and no strength is weakness and causes violence. Lack of awareness of one’s strength causes violence.

You can think about what are the things that cause violence and you can make a whole list.
Attachment also causes violence. Extreme passion without wisdom can cause violence.
You hear all these stories in the newspaper. Two people who initially love each other and they later become so violent to each other, that they kill each other. Haven’t you heard of these things?

All over the world, you hear of people who have fallen in love and then later stabbed each other. It’s unbelievable. So wisdom is essential. Just love or passion is not enough.

Love without wisdom is misery. If you don’t have wisdom and are not balanced, then that can cause violence. But if you are totally dedicated to something, then that is different. Then you don’t lose your wisdom.
Nowadays when you read the newspaper or switch on the television, every day, you get some such story, and there may be many more such incidences that go unreported.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gurudev, when opposite values are complementary, does it mean that when more people meditate, more people will express negative tendencies like jealousy and violence?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You never know (laughter).

All these negative emotions are distortions of love. They are off-springs of love. If there is no love, there can’t be jealousy. If there is jealousy that means there is love.

Arrogance is too much love for oneself. Jealousy is too much love for another person. Anger is too much love for another person or object. Greed is too much love for objects.

Anger is love for one‘s own concepts and perception. An angry person will think, ‘I perceive things to be like this’, and if they are not like that, then he gets angry.

So, almost every negative emotion is a distortion of love.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

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).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gurudev, out of 20 minutes of meditation, I can meditate only for 1 minute, the rest of the time I feel I am talking to you. Am I dreaming or are you really talking to me at that time? Sometimes I open my eyes slightly to see if there is someone.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It’s okay, you can do the 2% meditation.
Look, sometimes, with eyes closed, we start dreaming and get transported into the fantasy world of our mind, which is called the Manorajya. With eyes open, we are in the outside world. In between the two is silence. Not too much of the outer world and not too much of fantasizing also. We need to meditate in between these two.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Gurudev, in your occupation, is it a big occupational hazard that people get attached to you? How do you handle it?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Don’t even ask me that! (laughter) There are many occupational hazards. Many times I keep walking and someone holds my legs from behind. I have to balance myself to not trip and fall many times. People should listen. See now you are all sitting. When I exit also, you should remain seated. Nobody should get up and run.
I say it all the time and when you get up, that is when you give a chance to these thieves to steal. They come in groups. One will push the others, and pretend to show a lot of devotion and the other will pickpocket at that time.

Can you imagine that they have a gang? They have psychologically studied us very well. When Jai Jai Radha Raman (a concluding devotional song in Art of Living Satsangs) is being sung, everybody is totally immersed in the bliss of the Satsang, and that is the time when they will push someone and pick their pocket from behind.

You all should cooperate and stay seated to prevent such incidents. Anyway, I meet everyone.
I don’t feel comfortable when people fall over each other and elderly ladies and children are pushed down on the floor. Some people will run ahead and overtake the others and approach me before them, saying, 'Gurudev, please bless me'. Then I feel there is something wrong.

So one person will push and try to come forward, and his partner in crime will then pick your pocket from behind in the midst of this confusion.
Some of these old time devotees, though you can’t even call them devotees, they just won’t listen at all. They will jump over people to come to the front and sit and create chaos. I don’t know what to do.
(A member in the audience suggests that such people should be punished). Yes, I am thinking what punishment to give them. They spread indiscipline. It is not in my nature to say no to someone or to be harsh, but these people don’t let me be myself. I have never used any bad words other than calling someone ‘stupid’, or scolded anyone. I don’t know how to be stricter than this. But they are testing my patience.

It is okay. There are all kinds of people in this world and we need to accept everyone.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gurudev, is it more important to keep oneself happy or others around happy?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, both are important. If you have become a saint or a sanyasi(one who has renounced everything), then you need to keep others happy, but if you are a samsari (one leading a worldly life), then you need to keep yourself and others happy.

Like a cycle has two wheels, you need to balance both. If you are only trying to make others happy, then you yourself will become sad and if you are sad, then how will you keep others happy?
If you are only interested in keeping yourself happy, then the people around you will be sad and if they are sad, how can you stay happy? Both are dependent on each other, so take the middle path and be happy and keep others happy.
Take time out for yourself. Take care of your own health too and then you can keep others happy. You mustn’t be adamant to always get your way. Sometimes you need to give in and keep others happy too. You must not always insist that only what you say or believe should be followed. No, adopt the middle path. Sometimes listen to others, and sometimes also follow what you feel.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gurudev, love is a divine quality. It is said that love can liberate us, but it is seen that love actually binds us. Marriage is also seen as a bondage. So how can this bond be beautiful?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When there is no selfishness in the relationship then it is beautiful. If there is willingness to sacrifice in the relationship, then it becomes beautiful.
Look at the relationship of Shri Ram with his brother Bharat. It was such a strong bond but both of them were willing to sacrifice anything for the other. Such a relationship where there is no selfishness, is a beautiful one. In such a relationship, there is lot of love and peace.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gurudev, how can one be in choiceless awareness, so that we know what choices need to be made in the present moment?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
If a piece of charcoal and a banana is kept in front of you to eat, what is your choice? Is there a choice? Think about it.

When you don’t know that it is a banana or charcoal then there is a choice. But if you know that the banana is edible and the other is a charcoal, then where is the choice?
Knowledge brings wisdom which brings clarity. Confusion means lack of wisdom and no clarity at that moment. Then how to bring wisdom? Relax and meditate.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gurudev, if peace is our nature then what makes violence arise?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Weakness or fear is the root of violence. The fear of extinction or rejection causes violence. Stress causes violence. Stress is also a kind of weakness. Stress or tiredness and no strength is weakness and causes violence. Lack of awareness of one’s strength causes violence.

You can think about what are the things that cause violence and you can make a whole list.
Attachment also causes violence. Extreme passion without wisdom can cause violence.
You hear all these stories in the newspaper. Two people who initially love each other and they later become so violent to each other, that they kill each other. Haven’t you heard of these things?

All over the world, you hear of people who have fallen in love and then later stabbed each other. It’s unbelievable. So wisdom is essential. Just love or passion is not enough.

Love without wisdom is misery. If you don’t have wisdom and are not balanced, then that can cause violence. But if you are totally dedicated to something, then that is different. Then you don’t lose your wisdom.
Nowadays when you read the newspaper or switch on the television, every day, you get some such story, and there may be many more such incidences that go unreported.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Gurudev, when opposite values are complementary, does it mean that when more people meditate, more people will express negative tendencies like jealousy and violence?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You never know (laughter).

All these negative emotions are distortions of love. They are off-springs of love. If there is no love, there can’t be jealousy. If there is jealousy that means there is love.

Arrogance is too much love for oneself. Jealousy is too much love for another person. Anger is too much love for another person or object. Greed is too much love for objects.

Anger is love for one‘s own concepts and perception. An angry person will think, ‘I perceive things to be like this’, and if they are not like that, then he gets angry.

So, almost every negative emotion is a distortion of love.

Friday, January 16, 2015

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).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gurudev, why does it become increasingly difficult to handle the family? I can handle and influence everyone but the ones I love. What is lacking?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
You have to do it indirectly. You have tell someone who is close to your family and influence the family through them.

Perhaps they know you too well!

If you are so centered, and if you live the knowledge a hundred percent, then you will see that you don’t have to try to influence them, they will get influenced by themselves.

You being well-founded in knowledge is indicated when the people closest to you have the highest respect for you, because they know you. They see how you handle every situation, and how you keep your calm in every situation.

So if your close ones appreciate you, that means you have really blossomed. That means you have only a little bit more to go.

You can influence others but people around you if you are well established in knowledge. It happens.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gurudev, there are so many people who come on the path and then leave. Why does that happen? They are so involved and suddenly they stop coming.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
How many people have done that? There would be just a few, and there could be various reasons.

Some people come on the path like going to a restaurant. After you eat in a restaurant, you don’t think about the restaurant for many hours, right? So they are fulfilled and they don’t come back.


There are other people who might be going through a difficult time and they walk off the path maybe due to their bad habits. But then they do come back also. I have seen people come back to the path after 15, 20 or even 25 years. We don’t have to worry about it.

Your job is to throw the seeds out on the field. Wherever it grows, it grows. You can’t be watching out for every seed to see whether it has grown or not.

Gurudev, I happened to meet an American diplomat who has been on the spiritual path for 40-45 years. He said that some saints have visions of a kingdom of God, which is blue. Millions of souls are hovering around to get inside the kingdom of God, but that is possible only through a master. I just wanted to know whether all this is true.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
In the Gita also it is said that, among the millions, only few will walk the path, and amongst the few who walk the path, only a few will come to know me well.
Among these 8.4 million types of species on the planet, human species is only one. After 8.4 million bodies, you get the human body. Just image, 8.4 million bodies! From bacteria, birds, animals, etv., 8.4 million lives later a human life comes. In this human life, few get to know the real spiritual path. And among those, the few who walk on the path are the lucky ones.
This is nothing new.
Adi Shankara has also said, that the human birth is very difficult to get. After having gotten human birth, then the desire of wanting to walk on the spiritual path, is again very difficult to get. Few people get this. And even after getting this desire to walk on the spiritual path, only few get the opportunity to do it; they get the right path.
So many people, who want to walk on the spiritual path get caught up in all these wrong notions that one day the world is going to collapse, or doom’s day is going to come. And so these people pray out of fear. They get into paths where they are indented with fear and guilt.
See, fear and guilt are two things which will never allow you to go deep into yourself. And this is what some of the so called (religious) paths do.

Some of the religious paths create this fear of hell and heaven, and other things, and put people into such a turmoil of guilt and fear that the mind can never calm down. Meditation can never happen. This is very unfortunate. So even though these people are aspirants, they are not getting the path. This is again a big luck.

These people don’t get access to the knowledge: 'Come on, the mind is like a river, what are you holding on to? Don’t hold on to it. All the events are gone, drop it and move on. Live in the present moment'.

This knowledge is not available to many people (who aspire to walk the spiritual path). They go on repenting and repenting about the past, feeling guilty, and the mind becomes a mess.
Of course they do pray. Their prayers do help, and they get some blessings. Blessings come to everyone, no doubt, but the knowledge, the right path and liberation remains a distant dream for them. Peace does not happen in their life. They sit with the hope that one day they will go to heaven. And so these souls get trapped with desires and fear.

They have come to the human life to be free from all this, and think that God will one day release us. But they will have to come back again to work out all these things. Again they will get meditation.
So, a human birth, desires for a path, and the path being available to them (Maha Purusha Sannidho: getting a Spiritual Master), these three things are rare and difficult to get. If you have all three, you are lucky. That is what is said.

But don’t worry, you are not hovering around. You are already on the path and you are happy and relaxed.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Q: Gurudev, How can I gain the determination to face a situation? Or should I change my path? How can I know what is my dharma (duty)?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, we ask such questions many times. There is no dearth of knowledge about anything we want to know about. Nowadays, knowledge is available at a click of a button. Type your query on Google and you will get everything. But that is not the actual thing. There is something else. What is that? You need to just wake up and realize that everything is going to end one day.

Everything that has ever happened till this day, till this very moment, does not exist anymore. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad. No matter what happened till now, no longer exists. It is all finished.

As we go ahead in life, we will realize that everything is going to end. Nothing will remain. And yet, we still sit and go on thinking over it, worrying about this and that.
Shake everything off yourself, just wake up and see – there is nothing. Everything is nothing, that’s it. This very realization is enough for wisdom to dawn within you.

The nothing that remains is what everything truly is. You need to remind yourself of this again and again, so that it gets instilled in your memory.
After listening to the entire Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna says, 'I remember now'.

What does he remember? That all this is nothing! I am not this. If I was this then I would have ended. I have surpassed all this and moved on, this hasn’t even touched me.

This we must remember again and again.
See, you go to school or college and somebody curses you - hasn’t it happened to you?

In college, there is nobody who hasn’t heard curses from someone, whether friend or enemy. At that moment, we might have felt so heavy, but is that heaviness still present? It is not there, it has passed away. Just see how you have surpassed all that and moved ahead.
So, Everything is Nothing - this is called the Hridaya Sutra (aphorism of heart) as was told by Lord Buddha. This is also what Adi Shankaracharya called as the philosophy ofAdvaita. All the five elements are nothing. The five senses are nothing. I am nothing. You are nothing.

In the language of the knowledgeable, this translates to, 'All this is nothing'.

Devotees say the same thing in a different way – they say, 'I am akinchan' (I am nothing). If you just understand this, great awareness dawns within you.

So whenever something worries you, awaken yourself. Remind yourself that one day we all have to die. No matter how much you decorate and adorn this body, one day it will burn on the funeral pyre.
See every problem as a challenge. Take it as a challenge and see. Then there is no power in this world that can wipe the smile off your face.

To know this, how many books will you have to read? What all will you do, where will you go? You don’t have to do anything. This is what you are learning - the art of doing nothing! 

People have gotten so tired asking again and again, 'What do I do?' And the gurus who keep saying, 'Do this, do that, do this', have grown tired of saying it. So you have to do nothing - just know that all this is nothing.

Now this doesn’t mean you sit and keep chanting this. Then it will become a kind of a disease.
They have caught a new kind of disease overseas - they call it 'affirmations'. Think a particular though within you repeatedly.

In Switzerland, we had a workshop once. And after the workshop we went to a nearby hotel to have some tea and snacks. There, a couple was sitting and they asked me, what do I do. I said that I teach meditation.

I asked them what they do. They said that they practice and teach affirmations.

A husband wakes up at 3am, sits on the bed and says, 'I love myself, I love myself, I love myself' to himself repeatedly. Does one have to do all that to understand such a simple fact?

Our devotees and seekers, who were there at that time, said 'We don’t have to do anything like that. We do Sudarshan Kriya and we automatically feel that ‘I love myself’. We don’t have to say it again and again.'
Now you are here in Rishikesh, do you have to remind yourself that you are in Rishikesh? You know where you are. If you say this repeatedly then sometimes doubt comes. Then one may think, 'Am I really here?' (Laughter)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gurudev, how can one be in choiceless awareness, so that we know what choices need to be made in the present moment?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
If a piece of charcoal and a banana is kept in front of you to eat, what is your choice? Is there a choice? Think about it.

When you don’t know that it is a banana or charcoal then there is a choice. But if you know that the banana is edible and the other is a charcoal, then where is the choice?
Knowledge brings wisdom which brings clarity. Confusion means lack of wisdom and no clarity at that moment. Then how to bring wisdom? Relax and meditate.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gurudev, out of 20 minutes of meditation, I can meditate only for 1 minute, the rest of the time I feel I am talking to you. Am I dreaming or are you really talking to me at that time? Sometimes I open my eyes slightly to see if there is someone.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It’s okay, you can do the 2% meditation.
Look, sometimes, with eyes closed, we start dreaming and get transported into the fantasy world of our mind, which is called the Manorajya. With eyes open, we are in the outside world. In between the two is silence. Not too much of the outer world and not too much of fantasizing also. We need to meditate in between these two.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

MUST READ --- PK: Why Rajkumar Hirani expressed gratitude to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Parts of Rajkumar Hirani's 'PK', which questions people's blind faith in godmen, were shot at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's ashram premises. When the filmmaker was questioned as to why he has thanked the spiritual leader in his film's credits, he says he's 'only against fake gurus'. Significant portions of Hirani's latest directorial, which has seen a string of controversies, have been shot at Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation ashram in Bengaluru. 


The director and the makers are thankful to Ravi Shankar for understanding the importance of the subject and letting them shoot the film in the ashram premises. Hirani has said in a statement: "I'm being asked that if I'm against religious gurus, why have I expressed gratitude to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the film titles. My answer is that I'm not against religious gurus, I'm only against fake gurus. 


"Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a courageous man. He gave me the location to shoot, knowing well that this is a film on god and fake godmen. He is beyond pettiness of religion. He can see the larger picture. I admire his work and have tremendous respect for him. We will be showing him the film soon," he added. 

Starring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma, the movie has already crossed the Rs.300 crore-mark in the domestic market. 

Gurudev, how can one be in choiceless awareness, so that we know what choices need to be made in the present moment?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
If a piece of charcoal and a banana is kept in front of you to eat, what is your choice? Is there a choice? Think about it.

When you don’t know that it is a banana or charcoal then there is a choice. But if you know that the banana is edible and the other is a charcoal, then where is the choice?
Knowledge brings wisdom which brings clarity. Confusion means lack of wisdom and no clarity at that moment. Then how to bring wisdom? Relax and meditate.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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

Monday, January 5, 2015

Gurudev, love is a divine quality. It is said that love can liberate us, but it is seen that love actually binds us. Marriage is also seen as a bondage. So how can this bond be beautiful?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
When there is no selfishness in the relationship then it is beautiful. If there is willingness to sacrifice in the relationship, then it becomes beautiful.
Look at the relationship of Shri Ram with his brother Bharat. It was such a strong bond but both of them were willing to sacrifice anything for the other. Such a relationship where there is no selfishness, is a beautiful one. In such a relationship, there is lot of love and peace.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gurudev, is it more important to keep oneself happy or others around happy?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, both are important. If you have become a saint or a sanyasi(one who has renounced everything), then you need to keep others happy, but if you are a samsari (one leading a worldly life), then you need to keep yourself and others happy.

Like a cycle has two wheels, you need to balance both. If you are only trying to make others happy, then you yourself will become sad and if you are sad, then how will you keep others happy?
If you are only interested in keeping yourself happy, then the people around you will be sad and if they are sad, how can you stay happy? Both are dependent on each other, so take the middle path and be happy and keep others happy.
Take time out for yourself. Take care of your own health too and then you can keep others happy. You mustn’t be adamant to always get your way. Sometimes you need to give in and keep others happy too. You must not always insist that only what you say or believe should be followed. No, adopt the middle path. Sometimes listen to others, and sometimes also follow what you feel.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gurudev, in your occupation, is it a big occupational hazard that people get attached to you? How do you handle it?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Don’t even ask me that! (laughter) There are many occupational hazards. Many times I keep walking and someone holds my legs from behind. I have to balance myself to not trip and fall many times. People should listen. See now you are all sitting. When I exit also, you should remain seated. Nobody should get up and run.
I say it all the time and when you get up, that is when you give a chance to these thieves to steal. They come in groups. One will push the others, and pretend to show a lot of devotion and the other will pickpocket at that time.

Can you imagine that they have a gang? They have psychologically studied us very well. When Jai Jai Radha Raman (a concluding devotional song in Art of Living Satsangs) is being sung, everybody is totally immersed in the bliss of the Satsang, and that is the time when they will push someone and pick their pocket from behind.

You all should cooperate and stay seated to prevent such incidents. Anyway, I meet everyone.
I don’t feel comfortable when people fall over each other and elderly ladies and children are pushed down on the floor. Some people will run ahead and overtake the others and approach me before them, saying, 'Gurudev, please bless me'. Then I feel there is something wrong.

So one person will push and try to come forward, and his partner in crime will then pick your pocket from behind in the midst of this confusion.
Some of these old time devotees, though you can’t even call them devotees, they just won’t listen at all. They will jump over people to come to the front and sit and create chaos. I don’t know what to do.
(A member in the audience suggests that such people should be punished). Yes, I am thinking what punishment to give them. They spread indiscipline. It is not in my nature to say no to someone or to be harsh, but these people don’t let me be myself. I have never used any bad words other than calling someone ‘stupid’, or scolded anyone. I don’t know how to be stricter than this. But they are testing my patience.

It is okay. There are all kinds of people in this world and we need to accept everyone.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Gurudev, if peace is our nature then what makes violence arise?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Weakness or fear is the root of violence. The fear of extinction or rejection causes violence. Stress causes violence. Stress is also a kind of weakness. Stress or tiredness and no strength is weakness and causes violence. Lack of awareness of one’s strength causes violence.

You can think about what are the things that cause violence and you can make a whole list.
Attachment also causes violence. Extreme passion without wisdom can cause violence.
You hear all these stories in the newspaper. Two people who initially love each other and they later become so violent to each other, that they kill each other. Haven’t you heard of these things?

All over the world, you hear of people who have fallen in love and then later stabbed each other. It’s unbelievable. So wisdom is essential. Just love or passion is not enough.

Love without wisdom is misery. If you don’t have wisdom and are not balanced, then that can cause violence. But if you are totally dedicated to something, then that is different. Then you don’t lose your wisdom.
Nowadays when you read the newspaper or switch on the television, every day, you get some such story, and there may be many more such incidences that go unreported.

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