Know there is a power that is taking care of everything & the power loves you
Montreal, July 9:
Q: Dear Guruji, how could one conquer all fears and if successful, what to expect out of this experience?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is nothing called “all” fears. There is only one fear and the fear is of extinction and this is kept by nature. And how this can be extinguished is through the understanding, ‘I’m not the body, I’m the spirit’, number one; second, ‘only the best will happen to me’. That’s it. No third.
Q: Dear Guruji, you come in dreams a lot of times and solutions have given me spiritual guidance. Is this true, should I believe in this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Only when everything happens right then… if things go wrong then it is your own mind! (laughter) See, you got a thought, an intuition, when it is correct. If it doesn’t match the reality, you don’t call it “I had an intuition” how do you say it? “I had an illusion.” Difference between an illusion and intuition is that an intuition is correct, and illusion is not correct.
Q: What is more important happiness or performing one’s duty?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Both. You have to perform your duty and you have to be happy. Why do you want to have a choice between these two? Hmm... If there is a choice, go for duty first because if you are unhappy it may be momentary, right? Happiness is there, will come. But if you are choosing happiness before duty then you will be unhappy in the end. So it’s better to be unhappy in the beginning than keep it a long, long program.
Q: Guruji, please explain to us laws of Karma, how can I revert physical illness and perform selfless seva? My physical illness prevents me from being active and happy and loving. I get tired very fast. Please guide. Love you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, the best thing is not worry about it too much. Got it? Karma is only in the mind, yet you worry about physical illness “oh this is my karma...” See, the body has its limitations. Everybody’s body has a limitation. And if we have violated the laws of nature, it is going to take its toll some time. Okay? So, keep your spirits high, the rest will be taken care of by itself.
Q: Dear Guruji, when and how can I achieve the ultimate bliss?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No chance (laughter). No way. Forget about it. Are you ready to forget it? Then you got it NOW. Your mind is anxious for “ultimate happiness, ultimate bliss, one day I want to achieve...”
Q: My heart wants to move ahead but my mind won’t let me, what to do Guruji? Thank you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: They keep getting into a conflict again and again. Like an old couple they get into conflict every day. (laughter)
Q: How do I find peace with having made a very big mistake that I am sure that has impacted on others?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You’re in the right place.
Q: Dear Guruji,pranam. Is it okay to buy a lottery with the intention of winning a big prize? (laughter) or is that money is not good to have.Please advise.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No comments. I don’t want to create another conflict in your mind.
Q: Can we ask for big lottery prize as one wish for Guru purnima?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How funny the mind works! Want to have a lottery without having to do much. Good, good, good, good.
Q: Jai Guru Dev Guruji, Please forgive me.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Done.
Q: Dear Guruji, Patanjali says Yoga alone can liberate one. AdiShankara says knowledge alone can liberate one. Please explain.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: And you forgot that the Bhakti Sutra says devotion alone can liberate one! All that is needed is to connect. It is the thought that purifies the intellect. If you’re an intellectual person it is the intellect that is an obstruction for you to be in bliss. The mind comes in the way and keeps questioning, putting doubts.
Through knowledge, purify the intellect.
Through yoga, you purify your body, mind, and sprit.
And through love/devotion, purify your heart.
If you take any one route, the other two routes automatically comes along. It’ll be done, it happens. Yoga means unite and union, and if you go through the way of the heart, definitely union automatically happens and when you union happens, knowledge already comes. Go through knowledge - unless there is a passion for knowledge how will you go into knowledge? Under passion is love. So, love is present is in knowledge. The passion for knowledge cannot be if there is no love for it. So, you go through the route of knowledge, love is there, but hidden. It is coming along and it blossoms. The more you know, the more you start loving it, liking it. This is the secret. Hmm? The English proverb ‘familiarity brings contempt’ is very superficial. The more you become familiar, the more love will blossom in you for it. Yeah? So, either you go through knowledge or love or through yoga. Yoga also includes karma yoga, action. Yoga means uniting. The other two just comes along, tags along.
Q: How can you bring someone you love onto the spiritual path if they keep resisting? I try and it doesn’t seem to be working.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t give up. Try with all your tricks. The question is how canyou bring someone into spiritual path if they are resisting it. I say keep trying. Try, try again, and keep doing it. If they seem to be adamant you be more adamant.
Q: Guruji, I still have doubts when I don’t want to doubt who and what you are. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind, doubt as much as you can. I don’t mind you doubting, go on. Know that what we doubt is always positive. We doubt the love of someone, not the anger of someone. We doubt our capabilities, we never doubt our weaknesses. We doubt our happiness. So understand the nature of our doubt.
Q: Guruji, how do you help someone release their anger if they’re stubborn and don’t want to try the spiritual path
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know, I would tell you, give everyone freedom. You cannot control somebody. This person is like that, what can you do with them? By our telling something to somebody, they don’t change and you should not control anybody. This is what my conclusion is, what? Don’t control anybody. Let them go the way they want. Gently guide them if they listen to you. If they don’t listen to you, well, it is their problem. What can you do?
Are you getting what I’m saying? You try to control them - your kids, spouse, and friends - without any intention; your trying to control them has no bad intention at all. But well, what can you do when they get so angry? You know, your anger is because of trying to control. The moment you stop trying to control somebody, your anger also vanishes, got it? Hmmm? You get irritable when somebody doesn’t listen, right? You tell them ten times still they don’t listen, and then what do you get? Irritated. Then your knowledge should come “Well this is the way that person is suppose to be. What can you do? Jai Guru Dev!” So immediately what happens? At least your brain gets relaxation, you don’t get irritated.
So, what did I say? Stop trying to control any situation, any person. You are at peace; our wanting to control is the problem. Do you get it? In any situation things will happen, this way or that way. Do your best and leave the rest. Finished. Got it?
Now, this should not be mistaken for lethargy, lack of leadership, lack of initiative, or orderliness. Are you getting what I’m saying? This is a very, very fine balance. A wise person understands to lead without control, got it? Gently lead without trying to control. And then don’t lose patience to tell not once, but ten times. You should not say it in the very first time “Oh, I said it anyway and that person didn’t listen.” No, you should have the patience to say it ten times and if they still don’t do it, then don’t get upset.
This is wisdom, having the patience to say ten times. How will you say it ten times if they don’t do it once, twice, thrice, and you say, “Well, they don’t do it, that’s how they are” then that indicates you are lethargic, you lack initiative, you lack commitment. I’m telling you something very, very, very fine, are you listening? When you have commitment, what do you do— you keep doing it... correct?
Suppose when you have to cut wood, you cut once, if the wood is soft, it breaks immediately. But if the wood is hard, what do you keep doing? Keep hitting. How many times? Until it breaks. So you keep hitting it. What we do is, we have in our mind the same benchmark for everybody. We think, “Oh see all this wood cuts once this hardwood should also cut once.” Then we get angry. No. Some are hard and some are soft. It all takes its own time to cut them. And if it doesn’t cut and it is not wood, then you call someone else.
You are at peace. This is my conclusion. What? Don’t control, let them go the way they have. But keep guiding them; if they don’t listen they are putting mud on their own head. You know, it takes four-five people to bathe an elephant. Sometimes, they make the elephant lie down and pour buckets and buckets of water, so much water is poured on the elephant. Have you seen an elephant taking a bath? No? Oh when you come to Bangalore ashram you have not one, but two elephants too. It takes two hours to scrub, they get like a spa bath! And every day they get scrubbed, and then good temperature water poured onto them. So, they stand up shiny, ten minutes you leave them and they take the mud and throw it all over. They have no sense that,‘Just now I had a bath and I’m throwing mud on myself again’. The moment they find mud and dust, they pick it up and throw it right onto their own head and look all dirty again. (laughter)What to do? Hmm.
Q: Dear Guruji, apart from being friendly to everyone, what kind of friends I need to have in my life? And what to do when my friends don’t stand up to me or don’t trust me in times of need?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, don’t analyze anybody. This is another conclusion. Stop analyzing anyone. Where is the time to analyze somebody, and don’t analyze yourself also. Just relax, know there is a power that is taking care of everything and the power loves you. Know this and just relax. Yeah? Best idea? You are at peace, and you will be helped that way. It is not someone who is going to help us; we have to do our thing. And nature is with us, there is a power with us which nobody can understand, nobody can understand, even we cannot understand. So, just trust in that power and relax.
Q: Dear Guruji, you know that I want to do seva and do part 2 courses at an interval of at least three months to come out of some bad impressions. But I am not able to do just because of my family members.What to do Guruji?please help.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Never mind, you are seeing the webcast; you sit in meditation wherever you are. Hmmm. Yes. This should not be the cause of your disturbance for you. Okay? So much knowledge is there, so many meditation CDs are there, do it every day. Do your practice; nobody can take away your right to do meditation. Find time and do your meditation. And keep this knowledge in your awareness. That is good enough. Opportunity will definitely come, and you don’t have to say, ‘Every three months, every six months,’ like that. Hmmmm? Whenever possible come, and if it doesn’t happen even once in a whole years’ time, then you put a little more effort. At least once every year you must do an advance course.
Q: Dear Guruji have you seen god, love?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Oh my dear, have you seen yourself? Not in the mirror. God is not an object of sight. You must know that. If you see god that means god is away somewhere and you are somewhere. You are a seer and that is a scenery. God can never be a scenery; god is the seer, the onlooker... hm? And you are, and can be that. When the mind becomes still you are that, not before.
Q Dear Guruji, my sister likes someone but my family won’t approve. My belief is that it is her choice. If I let her hang out with this person then I have lied to my parents which I don’t want. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yeah… make peace. Yeah. If you don’t tell your parents they’ll feel doubly cheated, they’ll feel your sister has not respected them and they’ll lose faith in you also, that’s not good. You should inform your parents. And if you find it’s the right person then you become a lawyer also. (laughter)