Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gurudev, I am a Muslim lady and I come from very far to listen to knowledge from you. The Koran is the base of our religion but I cannot identify myself with the Islam of today. But your words go deep into my being. Why?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: 
Our soul always looks for the truth and wherever it finds the truth, it resonates. When something feels right in your heart just listen to that, and go with that.
All other conditioning of the mind, of philosophy, of religion and customs, keep on one side. They have their value; I won’t say you should discard them. They all have their place, but the spirit in you longs for the truth and that resonates wherever there is truth. Accept it without any feeling or any guilt.
Sometimes you feel you are not being loyal to your religion or loyal to your teacher. This sort of conflict you should do away with because no religion wants you to suffer.
Every Master, every paigambar (prophet), every saint who has walked this planet has always wished good, they have always wished elevation of the student, of the people, of mankind. When you are finding the truth, you are finding that spiritual elevation, that spiritual enrichment, so know that you have the blessings of everyone. All the prophets, all the Gurus, all the Masters are giving you their heartfelt blessings. You should know this for sure.
Teachers do say, 'Stay on one path, don’t waver, don’t go for spiritual shopping'. I agree with them. At one point of time when your mind is just being too greedy for experience, it tries to shop. It doesn't want to stay in one place and totally be there and absorb; the mind has a tendency to shop. When you go with that tendency of shopping, of acquiring little bit from here and there, then you are again self-focused, self-centered. You are not coming to the being. So the teachers in the past said, 'When you are here, be here'. If you are in one boat you have to be in that boat only.
This is for an entrant or sadhak (practitioner) who has just gotten onto the path. But at some point of time when there is stagnation, the teacher himself or herself will guide you, the light itself will guide you to only the right place. So that is okay, it is fine. When you are here, be here 100% and you are! So it’s perfect don’t worry about it.

Gurudev, you mentioned that the trick is to cut the connection between thought and me. What makes us feel that the thought is mine?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
In Sanskrit this is called tadatma (identification).
When you are watching a movie you are so identified with the movie that when something happens to the hero or heroine, you start crying. Doesn’t it happen?
It used to happen in villages, when the hero was being attacked by the villain, the entire audience would throw slippers and stones on the screen. Many times the owners of the theatre would have to come and announce, 'This is a movie, please don’t throw slippers and stones on screen because it will get spoilt'.
This is what identification is: the mind identifies so much with the scenery.
Same way, when you are watching a movie and if you are intelligent, you know it’s just a movie. You don’t throw stones at the television because your hero is being hurt by the villain.
In the same manner, your emotions and thoughts come and go. It is your strong association with the thoughts that puts you in a cage. Identification is that cage. Knowing that all these are just thoughts and detaching from that identification is liberation.
We all do this to some extent; everybody does it. You don’t act on every thought that you have. If you consider all thoughts as your own, you will go mad. But we consider many of our thoughts as our own. We consider ourselves to be the thought. It is only when you sit and go into meditation that you start becoming a witness and realize that these are just passing thoughts. We are able to disassociate ourselves from most of our thoughts; they just become like a passing cloud.
Of course, when such a cloud comes it also stirs some emotions. Thoughts and emotions are linked. When a bad thought comes, it stirs a bad emotion. When you are a witness the emotion also stays for a minute and then it vanishes. But if you identify with it then it stays longer. It can’t stay forever but it stays for longer, it drags the whole thing a little longer.

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