Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bhagavad Gita Discourse (Chapter 8) by Sri Sri at Bangalore Ashram

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Q: If we use valor to handle a situation, elders feel we have forgotten our manners. How to handle the situation?

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Don’t justify your anger as valor. If you’re arrogant, and behave rudely, your behavior cannot be justified. Valor is an inner phenomenon. It gives immense patience, perseverance and inner strength. It does not mean screaming, and shouting. Screaming, and shouting means you are weak. If you’re really strong, you will just smile. You move with confidence. You will be unfazed. That is valor. 

This is one side of the story. The other side is that whatever you do, someone will criticize you. You will be blamed if you act, and even if you don’t act. If you speak, or don’t speak. You can’t keep pleasing everyone.
If your focus is on finding shortcomings, either in yourself or in others, you cannot raise higher. Recognize that if someone gives a comment, reflect on it. If there is some truth, accept it. If not, then thank them and move on. Don’t ask them why. Just say: ‘I appreciate your perception’ and move on.

Q: Across the world, Yoga is a billion dollar industry, India now has a Minister for yoga too. Could you list out what India should do to become the crest jewel of yoga once again?

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We need to have a quality control in yoga; anyone cannot say anything and call it yoga. All yoga teachers should do certain hours of the practice of yoga each day. Today someone attends a yoga class for a week and then they become yoga teachers. They can’t move their body but they instruct others to move their bodies. They can’t sit still for 10 minutes, and they talk about meditation to others.
If you cannot sit still for a few minutes, how can you teach meditation? Walk the talk and talk the walk should be the slogan for a yoga teacher, and they should have a thorough training on yoga.
It is good that the Government of India has come up with quality control measures in yoga. They are designing methods and setting up standards to certify yoga teachers, and this is necessary. It was the same with Ayurveda. There is a joke between the Ayurvedic doctors. They say, “Yasya kasya taroh mulam yena kena api gharshitam | yasmai kasmai pradatavyam yat va tat va bhavishyati”. (The root of this or that tree - mixed with something or the other, given to someone or the other will cause anything!)
This is what was happening in Ayurveda. But, in the past few years the Government has standardized the practice, the medicine, and the doctors. I wouldn’t say that the education on Ayurveda is the best, it has to improve a lot. There are doctors who have finished their education in Ayurveda and don’t know how to take nadi diagnosis (pulse reading). It needs improvement, but at least some standard has come.
In the same way, if someone wants to teach yoga they should know about the nature of the mind, about the patterns of breath, about the seven layers of existence, then they can become good yoga teachers.

Q: How will you guide the modern youth who want to join politics for the betterment of our country?

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First, you do your sadhana and broaden you vision. Second, you need to have enormous patience. You go with a big vision and there are all chances that your vision is squashed and smashed and it may reach a point that you will want to throw it away. But, don’t lose heart. You may have to face disappointments one hundred times, but the 101th time you will succeed, but for this you need to have patience and perseverance. You should hold onto your vision and your ethics. Third, never forget your spiritual side. Whatever work you have and however busy you are, take that much needed 4-5 days for a silence program once in a year. Take 20 minutes every day to sit and listen to knowledge and meditate. This will keep your energy up. 

As a politician be careful about two things:
  1. Money
  2. Sex
These are the two things with which people can create scandals about you. You have to be careful not to be maligned. It is very easy to be maligned and then you will waste all your time in proving these false allegations. Better be careful from the very beginning as these are the two areas that can create scandals against you.
In the field of politics, when you are moving ahead, there are a hundred people trying to pull you down. So as a young, enthusiastic aspirant, you have to be very clean on these areas.
Another point is, don’t make politics a profession, it should be your mission. If it is your mission, you get enormous strength, energy and enthusiasm. But if you make it a profession you will have to experience a lot of wear and tear. So, keep these points in mind.

Q: How does grey matter increase as a result of meditation?

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This was done by a scientist and I have no reason to doubt them. I have seen changes in people in just 1-2 weeks of meditation. When people learn meditation, the experiences they share and the transformation I have seen in millions of people around the world is proof for itself.
The brain is just an instrument where consciousness exhibits itself. It is the presence of consciousness that makes a womb grow into a baby. If there is no consciousness how will it grow? The womb grows into a baby because something is present in it, and that something which is the catalyst of growth can also change and heal anytime.

Q: How to be humble yet authoritative at work?

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That is a skill that you have to manage. You have to be humble and yet firm. It is easy to be strict and arrogant, and it is easy to be humble and weak. But humility with weakness is no good. Strength with humility is the most appreciable quality. Arrogance with authority is very easy, but authority and humility together is something which is worth having. And that if you can manage to master, you have succeeded in life.
Similarly it’s easy to give up things in anger, and in frustration, but letting go with a fullness of contentment and happiness is a skill.

Q: We have the Rudra Puja and Vishnu Puja in our tradition, but why is it that we do not have any practice of Brahma Puja (worship of Lord Brahma)?

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, that is because Lord Brahma’s task of creating the Creation is over (laughter). Lord Brahma is present in Lord Shiva, and Lord Brahma is also present in Lord Vishnu. He (Lord Brahma) resides in everything. So when you worship Lord Vishnu, you are also worshipping Lord Brahma. The essence is to see that One Divinity in everyone and everything, and to also see everyone and everything as a part of the Divine. This is the point.
There is a term called as Brahmavadin. One is Lord Brahma, the other is the Brahman (the formless, eternal, all-pervading One Consciousness or Divinity). Do not confuse the two. There are no puja rituals to be done for the Brahman, that is the Paramatma or the One Divinity. You can only contemplate and meditate upon the Brahman. In order to prevent people from getting confused between Lord Brahma and the Brahman and treating formless Divinity as an object or deity of worship, our ancestors may have made a distinction between Lord Brahma and the Brahman.

Sri Sri on how to be successful and free of stress

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As times are getting tougher in the corporate world, many are feeling the pinch. Stress impacts the way we think, feel and behave, thus affecting all aspects of our life. The consequences of letting stress rule are nothing short of disastrous and tragic.
So how to be successful without paying the heavy price of a stressful life is what everyone is asking these days. I would say it's rather easy and simple.
It's like riding a bicycle
What is the secret to riding a bicycle? Balance! It's about staying at the centre: not letting it fall to the right or left. When it's falling on one side, you bring it to balance.
When you go out of balance, you feel the pinch. Listen to that. Don't just ignore it, acknowledge it and come to the centre. Whenever you go out of balance in any aspect of life, listen to your inner voice, and come to the centre.
Balance work and rejuvenation
First, balance your time between work and rejuvenation. Take care of your food, exercises and take time out for some meditation and relaxation.
Take interest in art
Second, take interest in some art form. In the corporate world, you are loaded with left-brain activities like logical thinking, planning, analysis, etc. So you need to balance the left-brain activity with the right-brain activity. Painting, music, poetry or any other kind of creative and recreational activities activate the right brain. When the two hemispheres of the brains are balanced, you can experience higher clarity, higher creativity, higher productivity, higher efficiency and higher relaxation
Strike a work-life balance
Third, strike a work-life balance. Listen to your inner voice. If you have ignored your family, it pinches you. If you have ignored your social commitment, it pinches you. If you are ignoring your business, it pinches you. If you are ignoring your spiritual practices, it pinches you. So wherever anything pinches you, come back to the centre.
Do acts of service
Fourth, do some seva (acts of service). Be useful to people around you. It's the best antidote to stress. You must contribute to society. When you do some act of service and kindness, it brings immediate feeling of inner rejuvenation.
The secret of true success is in balancing all aspects of life without being attached or averse to any of them.

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