Sunday, May 31, 2009


Every moment around Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a lesson in the Art of Living!
I heard this latest story from Sangeeta Jani-

Recently a big King Cobra had been lying inside a water pipe in Guruji's Kutir.
When Guruji realised that the the snake had not moved for a couple of days, he had the snake gently removed from the pipe and called a veterinary doctor. The doctor dioganised the problem as that of food poisoning. Guruji was so concerned about the health of the snake that he had the snake moved to an intensive care unit in a veterinary hospital in Bangalore.
This is another glimpse of our master's unconditional love. His love is constant, be it male or female, rich or poor, human or animal.

Field of comfort

What you are looking for in life is comfort. Why do you need money? Because you want
comfort. Any need in any direction boils down to one word - comfort.
There are many levels of comfort. One is physical - if you are sitting on the grass you think, ‘oh, it would have been better if there was a cushion’’. Then there’s mental comfort - this is even more essential. If you have a comfortable home but the mind is not comfortable, you will not be able to sleep even on a comfortable bed.

Another type is emotional comfort - you have everything, but if someone close to you doesn’t speak to you or does something that hurts you, then your emotional comfort is gone. Then there’s spiritual comfort - this is comfort of the soul, which means total peace, an uninterrupted flow of peace, and joy from within.

Comfort means to be yourself. But where is comfort? Is it in the body or mind? It is in a combination of both. Sometimes when the body is not comfortable, the mind is also not comfortable and vice versa. You may have a very nice bed to rest but if you are disturbed, you cannot sleep. More than the body, comfort of the mind is important. The mind is three times more powerful than the body so mental comfort is three times more important than physical comfort.

And your comfort is based on commitment. So people’s commitment brings you comfort. For example, the milkman’s commitment to bring you milk gives you comfort. Similarly, your commitment should bring comfort to everyone else. Sometimes one says, ‘‘Oh, I am stuck with the commitment so I am unhappy.’’ Now, don’t think every commitment will be smooth from the beginning. If you are committed to complete your medical course, then there is bound to be some rough time in between.

But commitment can take you across all obstacles. And the greater the achievement, the greater the commitment. The more you commit, the more your capacity and capability to do any work. Commitment is always about something a little more. You don’t say, ‘‘I am committed to drink a glass of water or walk one kilometer’’, which you do anyway. If you think, ‘‘I can only do this much work’’, then your commitment has to be more than what you think you can do. Commitment is about stretching your capabilities.

Self confidence
Today we do not instill confidence and commitment in our youth. That is the main reason for poverty. So the youth keep blaming someone or the other, the government, the people, their parents or someone else. They don’t take responsibility for themselves. That makes them weak and they become dependent. And when there is so much dependence on everything around, there cannot be happiness or comfort.

So youth, wake up! You need not be bogged down by commitments. Have confidence, faith. At the same time, keep an open mind. Don’t get stuck miserably. A few minutes of quiet meditation, a few minutes of deep relaxation, a few minutes of singing from your heart will help you get through your commitments successfully.

There is so much talk about success everywhere. Everyone wants to be successful. Have you ever thought about what success is? It’s simply ignorance about one’s capabilities. Success is ignorance about the power of the self because you assume you can do only that much. So you have set a limitation to your self and whenever you cross your own boundary or limitation, you claim success.

You never say, ‘‘I successfully ate a banana!’’ When you put a limitation, then you are limiting the power of your own self, your own consciousness. Every time you achieve something, you feel proud about it, isn’t it? Actually, you should feel sorry about it. You are just proud about what you can easily do because you do not know you can do much more than what you are proud of. When you are successful, you are proud of it, and if you fail - you feel guilty and upset. Both can drag you out of your joy, out of the greater potentiality that you possess.

So the best thing is to surrender to the divine. If you are successful, so what? It is another happening, another thing that you did, and you can do much more. And if you couldn’t do something well, then, you couldn’t do it, that’s all. This moment, do you wish to do it again? Then have that Sankalpa, the intention - ‘‘I have to do it!’’ Then you will make good progress in that direction, without feeling guilty, or being judgmental.

Traits to watch out for Your craving, anger or aversion comes from hearing. When you are in a group, you have to watch out for two things - one is craving and the other is aversion. In the group when you see someone good, or nice, then your mind goes there, clings on to it. The cravings start developing in you and they eventually lead to anger, demand, frustration, etc. When you give anything to somebody - any help, kindness or love - with that craving, then that love will start to demand - ‘‘Look, I have been so good to you, you better be good to me.’’ Then all the negative qualities in you pop up and beauty is lost.

Watch out for cravings. A craving happens first for appreciation of talents and then you start getting attracted to it. Then attraction turns back into craving and all these things go on. The world that begins for you then is not a Divine world but a demonic world. So watch out for this craving in you, it will cling on to anybody. And then you will send a, ‘‘I miss you so much’’ card and tell, ‘‘Oh, you put me into so much longing, you are so good, I never met anybody like you!’’ and such expressions. All this happens not out of surrender or gratitude, but out of craving.

The other thing which you have to watch out for is aversion. When you are averse to
somebody, then also your mind is stuck. And body goes through a lot of physical twisting. It happens that you see the person and your stomach churns and you feel like walking away, running away, getting away. Not only that; you go on speaking about your aversion, about a thing or a person or a situation. Often your aversions reflect your own nature. What ever you are averse to and avoid doing, you will find that same thing in some form or the other. The same aversion reflects through your
own consciousness. Only the flavour may be different, the quality may be different but basically, you will also be stiff. Kick the complaints off your head! Kick out all the complaints from your head for if you keep them, then that head is not going to be very useful. It is such a good point! Because only then your consciousness which is like a flower is all blossomed, brilliant, blissful, peaceful, and full of love.

Cravings and obsessions take over you because of three basic reasons. One is when you are not focused. The second is the time in your life - there is a certain time when these obsessions and cravings reach the peak and come down. However much you understand, read books and tell your mind to avoid them, these forces become so strong that they take over you.

The third thing is the nature in your body. When there is too much rajas or rajogun or too much energy that is not channelled properly, then there’s obsession. This can also happen because of lack of nderstanding about the obsession or lack of understanding about truth, the reality.

But if you fail to conquer your obsession once, twice or even thrice, don’t lose heart. Don’t start to blame the knowledge and lose faith in it when it doesn’t work to control your obsession. It is working and it is controlling. Your weakness will enable you to pray deeper. So, when you really feel weak and incapable of doing something, prayer starts. When you want to be free from certain things, that wanting to be free can uplift you, elevate you. That is devotion.

Love all lovely

You cannot understand the sayings of Jesus if you are not alive with prana, with the life force. The knowledge will all be just a concept in the head. Only the heart can feel that heart Jesus and love are synonymous! If you say love, you need not say Jesus. If you say Jesus, that means love. Jesus said once, ‘‘If you call God in my name, if you ask God in my name, whatever you ask, shall be given... For God is love.’’ Such a complete expression of love is found in Jesus. Whatever little glimpses you may get here and there indicates that fullness, the ultimate expression of the inexpressible that life is striving to express throughout time.

Love goes with courage. Look at the courage Jesus had. He completely overthrows the
common concepts of people such as the strong will inherit the earth. He turns it around, ‘‘The meek shall inherit the earth. The meek shall inherit heaven.’’ For love makes you meek. However strong you are, when you are in love you are the weakest. Love is the strongest force in this universe and yet, it makes you meek... it makes you weak. Even a macho man will cry when he’s in love. Love makes you weak, but brings you the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus says, ‘‘Love each other as much as I love you.’’ It was impossible for someone not to recognise the love Jesus was, but since love makes you weak, it is also scary. Among thousands, just a few followed him. Many heard, but just a few came. That’s why he says, ‘‘Many will come and hear, but only a few will understand. Very few shall pass through the narrow path.’’

Even after showing all those miracles, only a handful could recognise and follow Jesus. They were not high intellectuals but simple innocent people. When Jesus said, ‘‘the kingdom of heaven is within you’’, they did not understand. They said, ‘‘which side of God will you be sitting, the right or left?’’ Once you go within, there is no right or left! There is no front or back. Jesus’ patience and compassion can only come out of love.

Very few understand what Jesus meant when he said: ‘‘I have put man against man, father against son, daughter against mother’’. Who you think are your friends are really not your friends because they make your faith in material things strong, and spirit less. ‘‘I have come to put one against each other. I’ve come to put fire, not make peace.’’ If Jesus had to say this, it is because he has seen the depth of slumber in people! When you talk something nice and peaceful, everybody will go to sleep! When there is something sensational, people wake up and hear. Newspapers are filled with such stories! This is the human mind.

Jesus did all he could to help one cross the mind and get into the soul, the spirit, the source of life, the Self. You break through the limited concept of relating yourself with something, or somebody, or identities, and recognise the Divinity within you, that you are much more than just a human. You are part of the Divine and you will inherit the kingdom, which is right here, right within you.
Somewhere he has said, ‘‘It was better if Judas had not been born at all.’’ Those words are not coming out of anger or frustration. Many times, when people don’t like somebody, they say, ‘‘I wish they were never born.’’ Here Jesus is saying, ‘‘Judas... I wish he was never born,’’ because he could feel the pain that Judas was undergoing. Judas played the role that he was ordained to play. He had no choice! And Jesus could feel that pain, that suffering that Judas was undergoing.

At one point, in the end, Jesus says, ‘‘I am not yet one with my Father, but go and tell them that I am one with my Father.’’ Scholars wonder why Jesus would tell such a lie. Also, that last moment when he said, ‘‘Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.’’ Or when he said, ‘‘Oh, my God, my Father, have you forsaken me?’’ That one idea at the last thought that, ‘‘God has forsaken me,’’ kept the distance between ‘‘me and my Father’’. So Jesus said, ‘‘I am not yet one with my Father. I am at the doorstep of the house, but you tell the world I am already at home.’’
When someone is at home, it’s much easier for them. When they’re standing at the doorstep, waiting for the others — waiting in the rain, in the snow, in the storm, in the sun — that can only happen when there is so much love, so much compassion. Practically he is at home for the whole world.

The renowned sage Bodhisatva once said, ‘‘I’ll stand at the door of heaven, till all the people go in. I’ll be the last one to enter heaven. I’ll wait at the doorstep.’’ The same thing was true with Jesus. ‘‘I and my Father are one, say this to people.’’
You cannot understand the sayings of Jesus if you are not alive with prana, with the life force.

The knowledge will all be just a concept in the head. Only the heart can feel that heart. Otherwise, in the name of Jesus, in the name of God, in the name of religion, people kill each other. In the name of God, many wars have happened. For centuries men have fought on this planet in the name of God, in the name of prophets, in the name of religion. They had no clue of Jesus.
When there is authority there cannot be love, and where there is love there is no authority. Jesus is opening his arms and saying, ‘‘Come, you are my friend, don’t be afraid, don’t put me on the altar. Give me a seat in your heart. See me in everyone you see around you. Love everyone as much as I love you... Or as much as you love me, share that with everyone around.’’ What more do you want to see in that embodiment of love? But people still wanted proof. If Jesus came today, he would still be asked, ‘‘Prove to me you are the son of God.’’ So in those days too, he was asked to prove how he was the son of God, even after turning water into wine. This is because the mind dwells on proof. The mind cannot understand Jesus, only the heart can feel the presence of Jesus.

Those who crucified Jesus were not bad people... they were ignorant. They were stuck in their head. They were not born out of spirit, but they had read all the scriptures and books. They thought he was being blasphemous, that he did something criminal. Jesus never said, ‘‘I am suffering for your sin’’. That was just a way people used to awaken other people.The wise have many ways to lead one towards the truth and that was one of the ways. There are many things said like that, ‘‘Look, doomsday is coming, come on, wake up!’’ When Jesus was on this planet, those days were the darkest period. People were slaves; they were not highly educated nor aware. It was necessary in those days to say, ‘‘Come on, wake up! There’s going to be disaster!’’

Fear wakes one up from slumber. Otherwise, one is doing the same thing, repeating the same thing and not open to knowledge. The teachers in those days knew this psychology. Fear need not be a tool for someone who is sensitive, but it works for someone who is thick-skinned.

Jesus himself has said that the Divine is in the present. ‘‘Your mind has been stolen by the past or the future. I am here to bring it to the present moment. I am the only way. If you cannot see the Divinity in me when I am right in front of you, do you think you are going to see the Divinity in the future or in the past?’’ Jesus leads you to your own Being, your own self, your own Divinity that is deep within you.

The spirit is eternal and beyond birth or death. Spirit is love beyond name and form. When you are truly in love with Jesus, you will see Jesus in every name, in every form, in every nook and corner of the planet and beyond. If you are just imagining Jesus as a form limited to a certain time of history and place, then your growth is also limited, because you are limiting Jesus. Of course, if a name or form is very appealing to you, you can have it as your personal master.

Just go to the values that the Master truly represents and live them. Then he is not of the past, he is here now. And he will be in the future, also, forever and ever and ever.

What is life? Why am I here?

Certain questions indicate the maturity of our mind. Do you know what those questions are?
They are: What is life? What is the purpose of my life? Why am I here? What do I want? If these questions arise in your mind, it is a sign of the mind or intellect getting matured. Otherwise the mind is just in routine doing the same thing again and again, not even introspecting looking into the source of life.

These questions are vital. Where am I? Are you aware you are on this planet Earth? Have you ever thought “I am on planet Earth and this planet is in the solar system”? So, I am in the solar system. The solar system is just a dot in the Milky Way. So, I am in the Milky Way. This expansion of awareness to the macrocosm and being aware of where you are in this body is important.

Just sit with your eyes closed and ask yourself “where am I in this body”? Am I in the head, in the nose, in the heart? Where am I in the body? Then the sharpness of the mind happens, awareness happens. You are able to perceive that you are nowhere and you are everywhere in the body. A shift in the quality of awareness happens instantaneously. And it is this awareness that can eliminate stresses and sorrows from life. This awareness is called wisdom.

Every living being wants happiness, everyone wants to be in love. Everyone wants to be loved and everyone wants to give love. Right? There is not a single creature on this planet that doesn’t like love. And do you know that love is the cause of all misery also? Love is the cause of jealousy, anger, hatred, fear, everything. The basis of all problems in the world is again love!
You have two choices. You can be indifferent or be in love and go through the suffering. Is there any other third hope for being in love and not facing all the miseries? Yes. It is through awareness.

When we raise our consciousness, we become more aware of the sensation that is happening in the body and we see that the sensations change. An intense sensation that is pain and an intense sensation that is pleasure, both become pleasurable. Love and pain, they are very closely related. The symbol of Jesus on the cross means that the cross is pain and Jesus is love.

One is with the other. The transformation of this pain into bliss, the love into bliss is what happens with awareness. The same happens with doubts. Have you noticed doubts are always about something positive? We never doubt anything negative in life. You never doubt someone else’s anger or your anger. You never doubt your depression. Nobody ever doubts his/her depression. But when one is happy, one doubts, am I really happy? If someone tells you they hate you, you don’t doubt it
but if someone tells you they love you, you say: “Really? Are you sure?”

If we can doubt in the negativity of people, we become close to the reality. Do you see what I am saying? We take it for granted that everybody is a hoax or a fraud and then we try to find somebody we can trust. It becomes so difficult in the world. Sometimes you have a lot of doubts in your mind. But when you increase the energy level in your body, you will see that the doubts disappear. There is more clarity in the mind. Confusion goes away from the mind.

Without this awareness the mind shrinks. When the mind shrinks, the joy diminishes. Whenever we are happy, we feel that something in us is expanding and the expression of sadness is the contraction of mind. Meditation is a technique where the mind expands and relaxes. And whenever we are relaxed, we are expanding automatically. It is worth knowing this expansion because then nothing can disturb us or take our smile away. Otherwise, some small things can throw us off the balance. It is not worth letting your mind or your life undergo such suffering, such misery. Do you see that?

Finding life’s direction

A river needs two bunks to flow. The difference between flood and a flowing river is water flows regulated in a direction in a river. During floods the water is muddled and has no direction. Similarly, the energy in our life needs some direction to flow. If you don’t give direction, it is all confusion. Today most of the people are in confusion because there is no direction in life. When you are happy, there is so much of life energy in you; but when this life energy doesn’t know where to go, how to go, it gets stuck. When it stagnates, it rots! Just like how the water has to keep flowing, in the same way, life has to keep moving.

For life energy to move in a direction, commitment is essential. Life runs with commitment. If you observe every small thing or big thing in life, it goes with certain commitment. A student takes admission in a school or college with a commitment. You go to a doctor with a commitment saying that you are going to take the medication or listen to whatever the doctor says, right? The banks work on commitment. Government works on commitment.

Needless to say, a family runs on commitment: mother is committed to the child, child is committed to the parents, husband is committed to wife, and wife is committed to husband. Whether it is love or business or friendship or at work or any area of life you take, there is commitment, isn’t it?

What would really irritate you is non-commitment. If you just observe, you expect some commitment from someone and when they don’t do it, you get upset. Or when someone doesn’t keep up his or her commitment, you get upset. Commitment is essential in life. You cannot stand someone who does not commit, but see how much commitment have you taken in your life? Of course our commitment is proportional to what we have, our power, our capacity or capability. If you are committed to taking care of your family, that much capacity or power you gain. If your commitment is for the community, you will get that much energy, joy, that much power.

In life, what you always want is more joy, more power, more energy, isn’t it? You want more, anything you are given, you want more, more money, more fame, more beauty, more joy, more pleasure …this “wanting something more” bugs in your mind and that you do not look to your capabilities. More will be given to you only if you utilise properly what you already have!

This is a law in nature. Why should the nature give you more when you are stuck with your little mind? This tendency of wanting more is there in you; you only have to give a twist to it. Instead of “what more I can have”, just turn it around and start asking yourself “what more I can do?”.

Then you will see that there is joy. Nature of joy is to give because you are the source of joy! The more responsibility you take on, the more energy/power will come on to you. Greater the commitment you take, greater the energy/power you gain to fulfil that
commitment. Greater the commitment, easier things are. Smaller the commitment, suffocating it is for you. Smaller commitments suffocate you because you have more capacity, but you are stuck in a small hole! When you have ten things to do and even if one thing goes wrong, you can keep doing the ten things, that thing that has gone wrong will set right itself! But if you have only one thing to do and that goes wrong, then you are stuck with it.

Usually we think we should have resource and then we will commit. Greater the commitment you take, greater the resources will come to you automatically. You don’t have to sit and worry how you will get resources. When you have the intention to do something, resources simply flow when it is needed and how much it is needed.
In doing what you can do, there is nothing much about it, there is no growth.

Stretching a little beyond your capacity will increase your capacity. If you can take care of your town or your society, there is nothing great about doing that because it is within your capacity or capability. But if you stretch it and little more and take commitment to take care of the whole state, then you gain that much more power. As much as you take on the responsibility on your self, that much your capacity increases, your capability increases, your talents increase, your joy increases and that much you become one with the divine force. In whatever capacity you do something for the society, for the environment, for the creation, that much you progress further both materially and spiritually (value wise). The heart opens up with a feeling that you are part of everyone.

The technique to get depressed is to sit and think only about you! If you just sit and think, “what about me, what will happen to me?” you will thoroughly get depressed. The way to expand from individual to universal consciousness is to share others sorrow and joy. As you grow, your consciousness should also grow. When you expand in Knowledge with time, then depression is not possible. Your inner most source is joy. The way to overcome personal misery is to share universal misery! The way to expand personal joy is to share universal joy. Instead of thinking “what about me?” “What can I gain from this world?” Think “what can I do for the world?”
When everyone comes from the point of contributing to society, you have a Divine society.

We have to educate and culture our individual consciousness in order to expand in time with the Knowledge from “what about me?” to “what can I contribute?” A commitment can only be felt when it oversteps convenience. That which is convenient, you do not call commitment. If you just go on your convenience, your commitment falls apart causing more inconvenience! If you keep dropping your commitment because it is inconvenient, can you be comfortable? Often, what is convenient does not bring comfort, but gives an illusion of comfort. Whatever you are committed to brings you strength. If you are committed to your family then your family supports you, if you are committed to your society, you enjoy the support of society. If you are committed to God, God gives you strength. If you are committed to Truth, Truth brings you strength. Often one is not aware of this idea and that is why one is hesitant to commit to a greater cause. Also there is a fear that commitment would weaken one or take away one’s freedom. To the wise, their commitment is their comfort. Whenever their commitment is shaken, their comfort is also shaken. To the lazy, commitment is torture though it is the best remedy! Your commitment to a cause is bound to bring you comfort in the long run.

Are there any commitments that can be given up? Yes, commitments made with
shortsightedness can be given up because when you are committed without a vision, you feel stifled when your vision expands. When your commitment brings misery to many in the long run, it can be given up. Just like you run out of fuel in the car and you have to refill it again and again, in the same way your dedication and commitment runs out in the course of time and it needs constant renewal! Commitment in life grows toward a higher cause. The higher the commitment, greater is the good for all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Moments of Silence

Before we can lead, we must serve....
Before we can serve, we must prepare....
Before we can prepare, we must learn....
Before we can learn, we must listen....
Before we can listen, we must be silent !!!

Gurudev says......."Observe some moments of Silence before & after the completion of any job"


Bad Antogast, Germany, May 14 (Thursday): The satsang tonight was simply incredible. Possibly one of the rarest of satsangs. It started when Guruji asked: How are you all?

Ok, now we are going to have a silent conversation. You have a question, and I will not say a word. You silently ask, and I will silently answer.

When the satsang group (representing the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa) started clapping, little did they realize that they were about to embark on an unforgettable journey.

Guruji then said: Keep your eyes open, and sit quietly.

What followed was a long silence with Guruji silently answering the silent questions.

Did anyone realize when the time to talk again came? 20 minutes had elapsed!

Members from the audience then began to share their experience:

Guruji, feeling your presence inside is the most beautiful thing, and I wish everyone can feel this.

For every question, there was an answer but soon there were no questions.

Silence is most beautiful, Guruji.

I wonder how we can put into words what we feel right now inside us. I can't imagine a word. Thank you. Thank you for what you've been giving to us.
Posted by WisdomfromSriSri


this Guru Aarti is recited everyday at d ashram..........

Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho, Sab Jai Gurudev Kaho,
Beheti Pyaar Ki Dhaara (2), Milkar Saath Baho ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Guru Hai Roop Prabhu Ka, Guru Prabhu Ka Vistaar,
Guru Par Dhyan Lagaao(2),Kholo Man Ke Dwaar ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Guru Puja Ki Baati, Guru Hai Divya Prakash,
Guru Suraj Chanda Hai(2), Guru Dharti Aakash ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Guru Ganga Ki Dhaara, Guru Vedon Ka Gyaan,
Guru Ki Vaani Sachi(2), Guru Tirath Vardaan ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Guru Mamta Seva Hai, Guru Shraddha Vishwaas,
Guru Ke Path Par Chalkar(2), Bujh Jaati Har Pyaas ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Guru Ka Gyan Aseemit, Guru Ki Kripa Apaar,
Guru Ki Karuna Hoto(2), Ho Jaaye Uddhaar ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Guru Aanand Abhay Hai, Guru Utsav Utkarsh,
Jeevan Ke Aadhaaron Par(2), Guru Dharta Hai Harsh ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Ravi Ka Tej Hai Mukh Par, Shankar Saa Tap Gyan,
Shwet Vastra Man Harsheet(2), Baal Sulabh Muskaan ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Aise Guru Ko Paakar, Dhanya Hue Sab Log,
Jagat Kutumbh Bana Hai(2),Yah Adhbut Sanjog ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho

Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho, Sab Jai Gurudev Kaho,
Beheti Pyaar Ki Dhaara (2), Milkar Saath Baho ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho ! Aum Jai Gurudev Kaho !

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A window to your soul

We lead life through three states of consciousness — waking, dreaming and sleeping. In the waking state of consciousness, we experience the world through the five senses, be it sight, smell, touch, hearing or taste. We seek elevation and joy from these senses.

For instance, we only want to look at something that is a source of joy, not at something likely to sadden us. If any one of the senses is missing, the entire dimension of that sense is lost. One who can’t hear is bereft of the whole arena of sound. Similarly, he who can’t see is deprived of all the beautiful sights and colours. So the sense is more important and much bigger than the object of the sense.

Each sense has a limited capacity to enjoy — after all, how much can one see or hear or touch? However beautiful a sight, one cannot keep looking at it. The senses get tired after a short period of time. The eyes close and we want to go back into ourselves because every experience is an expense of energy.

Rated higher than the sense is the ‘mind’. The mind is infinite; its desires are many. But the capacity of the senses to enjoy is small. This imbalance in the system will remain. Greed is wanting more and more sensory objects — even though a person can eat only so much, he wants all the chocolates in the world; though the amount (of money) that can be spent by an individual during a lifetime is limited, he wants all the wealth in the world. This is greed. This is what is prevalent in the world today.

Giving too much importance to sensory objects leads to greed, giving too much importance to the senses leads to lust and giving too much importance to the mind and its desires leads to delusion. We hold on to the concepts of the mind and want things to happen in a certain way. Thus, the concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that’s a part of us.

I’m not saying that the senses or the mind are bad. But we must learn to discriminate between things and be aware of what is happening at all times; that is when clarity dawns on us. This is the first step towards the higher state of consciousness.

Then fourth (or the higher) state of consciousness is somewhere in between the waking, sleeping and dreaming states; wherein we know ‘‘we are’’ but we don’t know ‘‘where’’ we are. This knowledge that I ‘‘am’’ but I don’t know ‘‘where’’ I am or ‘‘what’’ I am is called ‘‘Shiva’’. This state gives the deepest possible rest that one can experience. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful.

In the waking state, one is constantly engaged in looking, smelling, eating, etc. The other extreme is the sleeping state where one is completely cut off and dull. The dullness and heaviness linger even after waking up. The more one sleeps, the duller one feels since a lot of energy is expended in sleep. Hence, the fourth state, where we are awake and yet at complete rest, is worth knowing. And we enter this state only during meditation.

Holding on to infinity
Every cell in the body has the capacity to hold infinity. While a worm also eats and sleeps and wakes and performs its daily activities, there is no point in living like that. We must tap the full potential that nature has bestowed on us, the potential to hold infinity in every cell of the body. For that we must practise meditation regularly. It only takes few minutes every day. And once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation is no more a burden or a chore.

Meditation is like a seed. The better a seed is cultivated, the more it flourishes. Similarly, the more we practise meditation, the better it cultures the entire nervous system and the body. Our physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with ‘‘prana’’. And as the level of ‘‘prana’’ in the body rises, we bubble with joy.

The culturing of meditation into our system is normal. Some people call it the higher state of consciousness, I call it the normal state of consciousness since we are endowed with the ability to live in that state. Meditation helps in two ways — it prevents stress from getting into the system and simultaneously helps release already accumulated stress.

Regular meditation also leads to happiness and fulfillment; to sensitisation of the sensory organs (thereby intensifying the experiences of seeing, tasting, feeling, etc.); and to greater intuitiveness.

With the assimilation of meditation into daily life, the fifth state of onsciousness, called cosmic consciousness, dawns. Cosmic consciousness is perceiving the whole cosmos as part of oneself. When we perceive the world as a part of us, love flows strongly between the world and us. (Love again is not an emotion but a state of being. It is not a melodrama expressed by endearments but our very existence.) This love empowers us to bear with the opposing forces and the disturbances in our lives. Anger and disappointments become fleeting emotions that
occur momentarily and then vanish.

Usually we tend to let go of pleasant emotions and cling to the unpleasant ones; 99 percent of the world population is prone to doing this. But when the consciousness becomes free and cultured with meditation, this tendency of holding onto negative emotions is the first thing to disappear. We start living in ‘‘the moment’’ and let go of ‘‘the past’’. This is important because no matter how good the people we interact with, there are bound to be misunderstandings in any relationship. Once a little misunderstanding crops up, our emotions get distorted and a host of negativities follow.

But if we are able to let go and focus on the ability of consciousness to revel in the glory of every moment, we are shielded from all the above. The truth that every moment is supportive and complimentary to our growth dawns on us. Thus, attaining higher states of consciousness does not require any complicated strategisation; one just needs to learn to let go.
A person in a higher state of consciousness is expected to know everything. But while the mind and the consciousness possess the ability to know everything, do they really need to know everything? ‘‘All knowing’’ simply means being conscious of the essence of all you know. In this state, both knowledge and ignorance co-exist and complement each other. For instance, while playing a game, it is not knowing the result beforehand that makes the game sincere and fun. If one knew the result even while playing, the players (and the game) would lose their intensity.

Similarly, if you know that a friend is going to let you down in ten years’ time, it will affect your relationship with that person today. If everything in life progresses smoothly and as per plan, life won’t be fun. After all, the fun of a story is in its suspense. And anyway, what is the big deal about this one life? Just 60-80 years? It is nothing. You have had many such comings into this world,inhabited many bodies, done many things. One life is negligible.

When you realise this, little things will cease to bother you. Every up and down in life makes this play of life more interesting. When you open yourself to the consciousness in any particular moment, you perceive the innumerable activities taking place in the universe in that very moment — people are waking, sleeping, preparing for bed, driving, working; chicken are hatching, frogs croaking, virus and bacteria are infecting people — zillions of things are happening in that one moment in this infinite creation and yet the consciousness knows everything.

Deep inside, each person knows about everything in this world. This knowledge is present in every person. You are a part of this whole phenomenon. As your consciousness opens and the whole system gets physically, mentally and spiritually elevated, your life becomes worth living.
A higher state of consciousness will not drop on your head from heaven one fine morning. The sapling of consciousness is within you — it needs to be nurtured with simple techniques of meditation. Some palm trees yield in three years, some in ten years. And those that are not nurtured never yield! They simply exist...

The confluence of knowledge, understanding and practise makes life complete. When you grow into higher states of consciousness, you find that you are no longer thrown off balance by different situations and disturbances. You become beautiful yet strong — a soft, delicate and beautiful blossom capable of accommodating different values in life without any conditions.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009




Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The conscious self

Actions happen through consciousness.
It is because of consciousness that you talk, walk, sit, cry and laugh. Consciousness expresses the three shaktis — Gyan Shakti, Ichcha Shakti and Kriya Shakti. Knowledge, action and desire. If there is co-ordination among these three, then life is very smooth. If not, then life is in doldrums.

If you desire something and it is not correlated with knowledge then it will be very foolish — like a desire that you should have a house on the moon. If there is lack of knowledge, then you are stuck with the desire. Sometimes you have some knowledge but you don’t act on it. Even then you become miserable.

Many a time you say that you will do certain things or that you want to do certain things. Yet you never do it. You just keep postponing something you know is very good and that you should do it. Exercise or yoga class is the best example. Desire is there. You know it is good and you want to do it also, but then you don’t. This is lack of Kriya Shakti.

Ichcha Shakti is desire, Gyana Shakti is the power of knowledge, wisdom, and Kriya Shakti is the power to act. Some people have lots of Kriya Shakti — they become restless. They keep shifting the table or chair, or wiping the same window again and again, or vacuuming the same carpet again and again, but there is no knowledge of what to do. This is due to lack of Gyana Shakti.

What is lack of Ichcha Shakti? That’s when there is no strong desire. For sometime one does this, two minutes later something else. The mind keeps changing. Lethargy — that is also lack of Ichcha Shakti. In such a person the Kriya Shakti doesn’t allow one to be quiet and this causes restlessness. If a person is not so active, then he does not have so much Kriya Shakti. He will simply sit quiet but his mind will go on working. Some people will have a lot of knowledge but there is no desire in them to share with everybody. No Ichcha Shakti. So a perfect balance of these is very rare and worth having.

Yagna, Daana and Tapah — these are the three things that purify the human nervous system, the human consciousness and the human mind. When everybody gets together, chants, sings and meditates, then that is Yagna. People get depressed because all the time they are thinking about themselves. When you start thinking how you can help people around, how can depression come? Tapah is observing the opposites — meditating and observing the breath. Opposite values come and bother you. Bearing them is Tapas.

Any opportunity you get to contribute, contribute in whatever manner you can. When you are talking, talk knowledge instead of just gossiping. I am not saying that you should talk like a philosopher all the time. However, even if you want to talk some nonsense, you should be totally aware that you are talking nonsense.

States of consciousness When you have the feeling of being completely disconnected, then do not struggle to get connected. When you are sleeping, you are totally disconnected from the person closest to you too. When you sleep, you cannot take anybody else into the sleep state of consciousness. At that moment, with a smile, see the whole creation as a dream. It’s all like soap bubbles — they are there for a moment, and they are not there the next moment.

See all those people whom you met and the events and all the things which were there ten years ago, they are not there now. Everything is temporary and only you are permanent. And so you will feel the disconnection, but don’t feel sad. Accept this with a smile. Meditate. Strength from deep within will arise in you. Another situation is when you feel so totally connected with everything in the world, then you are lost. Then there is no ‘You’ inside you. This ‘I’ feeling is not there. It’s lost. Then also celebrate.

Respect and consciousness
How do you develop respect? Respect is an appreciation from the head. Love is an
appreciation from the heart. Respect needs logic. Love doesn’t need logic. Knowledge is required for respect. But for love, no knowledge is required. You just look at something and just fall in love with it.

Wanting respect is a natural tendency of adults, even adolescent children. But do we know how to respect others? It needs a little sensitivity. If you are sensitive, you are able to respect others. And if you respect others you become sensitive too. Respect and love are different yet they are very close. You cannot hate somebody and have respect for them. When you respect someone you start loving them. When you love someone, you start respecting them.

Healing through consciousness
There are three causes for illness. Illness is either a violation of natural law or is imposed by nature or is a release of past impressions or Karma. The first cause is due to the Karma of the previous lives. Karma means impressions in the consciousness. Another cause is when you violate the laws of nature. Take the case of overeating. In spite of knowing what you should not eat, you eat that. The third cause is inflicted by nature. You are living according to the laws of nature, yet suddenly there is a case of common cold and everyone catches the cold.

An epidemic spreads in Ethiopia and everybody suffers from yellow fever or malaria. This is inflicted by nature. Nature itself provides the cure for these illnesses. If you have some illness it may be because there is something wrong with the food. There could be some conflicts in the consciousness, in the mind. The solution is to meditate, let go of the conflicts and have proper food. When it is detected early, all these things come to the rescue.

Health and illness are a part of physical nature. You should not worry too much about it. When you worry about illness, you are giving more power to the illness. You are a combination of health and illness. When you keep that in mind and have a positive state of mind, then illnesses change.

Atheism and consciousness
There is not much difference between the believer and the atheist. A believer says that he believes in God but he wants a sign. An atheist, on the other hand, asks for proof of God and only then will he believe. Both want to see something. Both are mistaken. When you say there is no God, then you have the concept of God; otherwise you cannot say there is no God. If I say there is no table here, then I know what a table is. I have a concept of what a table is. The ancient people had a lot of brains. They simply made all the figures to represent certain qualities of consciousness. So they described Shiva as a figure sitting with eyes closed and a
serpent around the neck. The serpent indicates alertness and a meditative state is signified by the fact that the eyes are closed.

When you sit for meditation, it is not a sleeping state. You are wakeful inside — you are calm and serene. That is the fourth state of consciousness, neither waking nor sleeping nor dreaming. One thing that we need to understand is that what we think we know is very little. When you know that you don’t know much, you become more innocent. In the innocent level of your consciousness wisdom dawns, knowledge comes and intuition arises.

Beauty full

Adi Shankara, after he spoke a lot about dispassion, detachment, and renuciation, found that people should not stop appreciating beauty. So he sang a hundred verses on beauty. He foresaw that if he just talked about renunciation, people could become sadists. They start liking and encouraging the sadness. So he immediately sang on beauty. Beauty has three levels: indication, expression and exposure. Spirituality indicates, art expresses, and science exposes.

The Divine is beauty, and beauty is divine. Deva means one who loves to play, one who is effulgent, glorious, and one who plays. Demons fight, men live in peace, and gods play. Playfulness cannot happen if there is no beauty; they go together. Enthusiasm, the same force that is beauty, creates playfulness. Beauty is associated with shyness, and shyness enhances beauty. For example, a small child sometimes makes a very shy face. When everyone notices and appreciates it, it just hides its face. Likewise, shame is a part of ugliness. Shyness softens you; ugliness or shame hardens you. When a person feels ashamed, he becomes hard inside and becomes violent.

The way of gods, the way of the wise has always been indirect. There is a saying in Sanskrit, ‘Paroksha priya hi vai devaha?’ which means, ‘Gods love indirect methods’. Poetry is indirect; it’s exaggeration. The heart always exaggerates, while the mind puts the fact forward. Fact is intellectual. But when it comes from the heart, the fact is decorated. Then it becomes doubly beautiful.

Direct expression is necessary when one is not awake. But with the awakened, hints and the indirect expression make it all the more charming. But it doesn’t mean that something is good or something is bad. Everything has its place and its time. Total exposure is not the language of the heart. Total exposure provokes; concealed beauty invokes. That is why this nature conceals the whole creation during the night inside itself, and reveals it the next day, in the morning. Love is at its peak when no effort is made to express it. It is not that you should not express it sometimes; otherwise you may burst! It is just that there is a beauty in not expressing it
completely. And in that secretiveness and the unveiling of it, there is knowledge, there is opening, there is joy, there is beauty. That is a divine quality. Intellect has its place and poetry has its place. Both make life fuller. That is the beauty.

See people beyond their expressions. What a person expreses is not what he’s all about. There is a lot of unexpressed love in each life. Just recognising this fact, you expand; your heart expands. Then you’ll never be stuck with what someone says or someone does. What someone says is very small, and what someone does is just ribbon on the package. If you don’t like the ribbon, just take it off and look at what’s inside.

Everybody is a packed gift. Don’t just choose to look at the wrapper. Inside each one is a very precious gift. Some packages have firecrackers! Some packages have sweet candies. No box is empty. There is place for everybody in the heart of the Divine. That is what Jesus meant when he said, ‘‘There are many rooms in the house of my father’’. So do not worry that there are so many people. Do not ask how you can be close to God. Do not worry about how you can belong there. There are many rooms, and each one of you will have your own private room! And Jesus promises, ‘‘If there are not many rooms, I’ll make something for you and then come and take you there’’. The mind cannot appreciate something abstract, it’s so used to looking at concrete stuff and promises. The mind needs promises. When you love somebody, you want a promise from him or her. You ask, ‘‘Do you promise me? Do you really love me? Tell me for sure!’’

The second aspect of beauty is gratefulness. When you don’t feel that you lack something, then you feel grateful. You cannot be grateful and feel that you lack something. The two cannot go together. Perhaps, you experience both, but only at different times. When you feel you lack something, the grumbling begins. With the knowledge you have, you become grateful. When you are grateful, by natural law you will be given more. As Jesus has said, ‘‘Those who have will be given more. Those who have not, even what little they have, will be taken away from them.’’

Whomsoever you want to love, first of all, know they love you very much. If you doubt in somebody’s love, your doubt grows no matter however, or whatever, you receive from him or her. If you want to be close to someone, first begin to feel they are already close to you. When you ask people whether they trust you, you already doubt their trust. You grow in doubt. There is no limit to it; there is no end to convincing people of one’s love, one’s trust, one’s goodness.

That is why it is said that those who have not, whatever little they have will also be taken away from them. And those who have will be given more, and more, and more. This is the very law of nature.

Not having is just an attitude in you. It is the direction you are moving in. Whatever is, that grows. The seeds are already there. You sow the seeds and the seeds will grow. They become plenty. If the seed itself lacks something, how can anything grow? Open your eyes and see what you have been given! When you recognise what you have been given, then you become grateful. In that gratefulness, life grows.
Why did Communism flop? It was a great policy — those who do not have, give to them all. So it gave to them, and what happened? They became poorer and poorer, even on the very material plane, because consciousness was lacking. Without knowledge, without the wisdom, there is no progress.

This power, this energy, this beauty, this wealth has been given. It is permeating the whole creation, with out which not a blade of grass can move. However clever even the devas, the angels are, they cannot move, cannot do anything without the power of consciousness, without this life. Without life there is no beauty. A body is beautiful because there is life in it. The entire creation, the trees, the birds, animals, stones, rivers, is full of life. Life is not just the biological life. Life includes the consciousness that permeates much beyond.

In creation there is beauty, in the operation of creation there is beauty, and in the destruction of creation there is beauty. You can see it in nature all the time. Spring has its own beauty; in mid-summer everything is green; in Fall all the leaves fall and it looks spectacular! The Niagara Falls are so beautiful. To maintain those Niagara Falls year after year, and for ages, a certain process is required. The clouds have to go up, and they have to rain on the Great Lakes; and the Great Lakes have to flow. Only then the Niagara Falls can remain forever. Otherwise, if the
water just flows down once, and there is no more water to flow, or it doesn’t rain, the whole beauty is gone!

What has been created with so much beauty, underneath there is also a maintenance
principle that maintains it time after time, for centuries. Even a dead log of wood has its record embedded in it; in its genes, in its particles, is recorded its beauty, how it was, and how it is now. Even in transformation there is beauty. Even in anger, there is beauty. Just look at somebody who is very upset. The best awards in the film festivals go to the actors who show intense emotions like anger and frustration. All the emotion that gets exhibited is appreciated.

Just imagine somebody yelling at the top of their voice, grinding their teeth, with red eyes, holding their fists and all the nerves in their throat popping out. Just looking at them is such fun!

Otherwise the whole world would be very dull. Imagine everybody going around with an
airhostess smile all the time. It is no fun! It is the same thing when children cry. There is some beauty even in crying. When they laugh or smile, there is a beauty in it. If they are angry, there is beauty in it. Beauty is all pervasive. You only have to open your eyes and see the reality that is there.

God for the disbeliever’s soul

You have always thought of God as a father, up in the heavens somewhere. But can you see God as a child? When you see God as a father, you will want to demand and take from Him. But when you see God as a child, you have no demands.
God is the very core of your existence. You are pregnant with God. You have to take care of your pregnancy and deliver this Child into the world. God is your child who clings onto you like a baby till you grow old and die. This child clings on to you crying for nourishment. Sadhana, Satsang and Seva are the nourishment.

It is difficult to see God as formless and it is difficult to see God as form. The formless is so abstract and God in a form appears to be too limited. So some people prefer to be atheists. But atheism is not a reality, it is just a matter of convenience. When you have a spirit of inquiry, or are in search of truth, atheism falls apart. With a spirit of inquiry, you cannot deny something which you have not disproved. An atheist denies God without first disproving it. In order to disprove God, you must have enormous knowledge. And when you have enormous knowledge, you cannot disprove God! For one to say that something does not exist, one should know about the whole universe. So you can never be 100 percent atheist. An atheist is
only a believer who is sleeping! In fact an atheist is someone who has a concept of God!

For a person to say, ‘‘I don’t believe in anything’’, means he must believe in himself — so he believes in himself about whom he does not even know! An atheist can never be sincere because sincerity needs depth — and an atheist refuses to go to the depths. Because the deeper he goes, he finds a void, a field of all possibilities — he has to accept that there are many secrets he does not know. He would then need to acknowledge his ignorance, which he refuses to do, because the moment he is sincere, he seriously starts doubting his atheism. A doubt-free atheist is next to impossible! So you can never be a sincere and doubt-free atheist. When the atheist realises his ignorance, what does he do? Where does he go? Does he go to a Guru? What does a guru do to him? Atheism is when one does not believe either in values or
in the abstract. When an atheist comes to the guru, what happens? You start experiencing your own form and discover that you are indeed formless, hollow and empty. And this abstract non-form in you becomes more and more concrete!
The guru makes the abstract more real and what you thought as solid appears to be more unreal. Sensitivity and subtlety dawns. Perception of love, not as an emotion, but as the substratum of existence becomes evident. The formless spirit shines through every form in creation and the mystery of life deepens, shattering the atheism. Then the journey begins and it has four stages.

The first stage is Saarupya (to see the formless in the form) ie, seeing God in all the forms. Often, one feels more comfortable seeing God as formless rather than with a form, because with a form, one feels a distance, a duality, a fear of rejection and other limitations. In life all our interactions are with the form, other than in deep sleep and in Samadhi. And, if you do not see God in the form, then the waking part of life remains devoid of the Divine. All those who accept God to be formless use symbols, and perhaps love the symbols more than God himself! If God comes and tells a Christian to leave the cross or a Muslim to drop the crescent, perhaps he may not do it! To begin with, loving the formless is possible only through forms.

The second stage is Saamipya (closeness) ie, feeling absolutely close to the form you have chosen and reaching out to the formless. This leads to a sense of intimacy with the whole of creation. In this stage, one overcomes the fear of rejection and other fears. But this is time and space bound.

The third stage is Saanidhya — feeling the presence of the Divine by which you transcend the limitations of time and space. Then the final stage is Saayujya, ie, when you are firmly entrenched with the Divine. It is then that you realise you are one with the Divine. There is a total merging with the Beloved and all duality disappears. Take care of your God! Atheists lurk around the corner! Doubts, disbelief and ignorance are the atheists in your mind — so you better take care!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seva, Sadhana and Satsang

Sadhana, seva and satsang - these are so essential on the path to liberation. What should our approach be towards these three?

Guruji gave a very beautiful answer to this that till date shapes my attitude towards these three. He simply said -

Seva samaj ke liye, Sadhana khud ke liye aur Satsang Ishwar ke liye.

Do seva for society, sadhana for the self and satsang for the Divine.

Such a simple sutra removes so many confusions regarding these three. When we do seva for ourselves - eg. I am doing seva, I should get time with Guruji, Or I should get acknowledged then it becomes just a business. In hindi there is a beautiful saying - accha kar aur kuein mein daal. Do good deeds and throw it in the well. Yet it seems a little difficult to do. After all we have been conditioned to operate in such a way - doing a cost benefit analysis - whether the benefit is material or spiritual, it is still some want after all. So what is the solution.

The way is clear in the sutra; you want something for yourself then choose sadhana. Do your sadhana for yourself not to show off. ‘I can do more suryanamaskars’. I am a great yogi - I do sadhana for 3 hours daily. When you feel the need to do something for yourself, do sadhana. In sanskrit there is a saying - ekas tapasvi, dwir adhyayi - a person who does penance should be alone and a person who wants to study should do so in company.

Thus in satsang, we have good company and we do it for the divine. There is just you and your lord and nothing else. That is the pinnacle of devotion. In the Narada Bhakti Sutras, Guruji talks about the various modes and expressions of bhakti. Yet the one thread that is common is the one-pointedness in the sadhaka - the seeker. In satsang, just sing for the divine, dance for the divine, clap hands for the divine, offer yourself to the divine. That is the way to be in satsang.

Isnt this such a beautiful way to live the life of a sadhaka? !!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Buddha Purnima

Today is Buddha Purnima here's a little about Buddha and Buddha Purnima

About Buddha Purnima
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar. The most important festival of the Buddhists, Buddha Purnima falls on the full moon day of the lunar month Vaishaaka (that corresponds to the month of April-May) - a special time in Buddhism as it was on this day that the Buddha was born, gained enlightenment and attained Nirvana when he died.

Vesak is the day the Buddhists regard as the most important one in their religious calendar. While the Theravadas call it by the name of Vesak, it has got different names, depending on the places where it is observed. For instance, in India, the land of Buddha, the Day is more familiar as the Buddha Poornima, the full moon of Buddha. It is called sa-ga zla-ba by the Tibetan sect and Vishakha Pujain in Sri Lanka.

So called, because the auspicious day falls on the full moon day. On the full moon day of Vaishakha, the lunar month that corresponds the month of April-May. The Day Commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha. So, the Buddhists consider the day to be more auspicious than any other day of the year.

In fact, it was on this day that Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death, or, entrance into final Nirvana, all happened to have taken place.And there is more.

According to Buddhist legend, his wife Yashodhara, his first disciple Ananda, his charioteer Channa, and the horse Kantaka on which he renounced his kingdom to 'find some answers to life', were all born on this sacred day. Even, the tree, called Bodhi tree, under which he attained nirvana was also believed to have been created on this day. And it was on this day Buddha chose to preach his first sermon at Varanasi, or, Benaras, in India.

However, not all Buddhists commemorate the three events on this day. Though the events are commemorated by all.

It is only in the Theravada countries, the three events are all observed together on Vesak, the full moon day of the sixth lunar month Vesakha. This falls in the month of April-May.

May Lord Buddha bless you and your dear ones with happiness and true knowledge. Happy Buddha Purnima!

About Buddha

Siddhartha, the only son of Shuddhodana, the King of Kapilavastu situated at the foot of Himalayas, was prophesied by the royal astrologer to become either a famous emperor or a world-renowned ascetic. The father, anxious that his son should not take to the thorny path of a recluse, took extraordinary precautions to avoid every situation which would provoke such thoughts in his son's mind.

Siddhartha grew of age without ever knowing what misery or sorrow was. One day the prince desired to see the city. The King ordered that the city should be all gay and grand, so that everywhere his son would meet with only pleasing sights. However, an old and crippled man by the roadside happened to catch Siddhartha's eye.

It was a sight never witnessed before by the prince: a sunken face, a toothless mouth, all the limbs emaciated, the whole body bent and walking with extreme difficulty. The innocent prince asked who that creature was. Chenna, the charioteer, replied that he was a human being who had become old. To further enquiries of Siddhartha, Chenna informed that the old man was of fine shape in his young age and that every human being had to become like him after the youthful days are past. The perturbed prince returned to the palace, deeply engrossed in anxious thoughts.

King Shuddhodana, in order to cheer up his spirits, again ordered for his son's procession in the capital, but on subsequent rounds, Siddhartha came across a sick man and a corpse being carried to the funeral ground. Again it was Chenna, the charioteer, who explained that human beings were prone to illness and that death inevitably awaited man at the end. As luck would have it, on his final round, Siddhartha saw a person, his face beaming with job and tranquility, and heard from Chenna that he was an ascetic who had triumphed over the worldly temptations, fears and sorrows and attained the highest bliss of life.

And that clinched the thoughts of the young prince. He was then hardly twenty-nine. In that full bloom of youth, in the midnight of a full-moon day, he bade good-bye to his dear parents, his beloved wife Yashodhara and sweet little child Rahul and all the royal pleasures and luxuries, and departed to the forest to seek for himself answers for the riddles of human misery.

For seven long years, Siddhartha roamed in the jungles, underwent severe austerities and finally, on the Vaishaakha Poornima Day, the supreme light of Realization dawned on him. He thereafter became Buddha, the Enlightened One. When he was an itinerant monk, he was called Gautama and now he became popular as Gautama Buddha. Buddha's overflowing love for the downtrodden and destitute acted as one of the greatest factors for social harmony and justice to the weaker sections in the society.

Buddha's life abounds in such instances when he honored and upheld the purity and devotion of the lowliest in the society. Once Buddha had camped in the kingdom of Bindusara. The king - a disciple of Buddha - honored his Guru with chariots-loads of royal presents and offerings. The other disciples also, many of them rich, made offerings to the best of their ability. At the end, an old and poor woman trekked slowly to the presence of Buddha, offered a small pomegranate and collapsed at his feet, Buddha ordered the bell of honor to be rung in her name for that day, to the utter surprise of the king and his subjects.

The spiritual and moral forces generated by Buddha have strengthened and enriched Hinduism and helped to wean it from perversions which had set in at that time.

The present-day sublime thoughts and convictions of a common Hindu owe not a little to the life and preachings of Buddha. And Buddha himself has been revered as an Avataar of God by Hindus. Buddha Gaya where he attained his supreme enlightenment has to this day remained one of the most sanctified places of pilgrimage for the entire Hindu World.

Buddha's philosophical analysis of the basic problem of human suffering and misery helped to hold before the common man a purified and simplified Eight-Fold Path of Salvation, i.e., the right type of life-view, of intention, of speech, action, livelihood, effort, frame of mind and of concentration. Buddha, like Mahaveera, denounced the animal sacrifices in the yajnas and yagas and himself stood as the very embodiment of compassion to all living beings. He also forcefully brought home the limited merit of such rituals and stressed that the attainment of Final Beatitude is the summum bonum of human life.

As days passed, the effect of Buddha's teachings not only influenced the Hindu people in general but contributed decisively in elevating spiritually several races spreading over a vast region of the globe, including areas such as the present-day Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Brahmadesh, Siam, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Annam, Cochin, China, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Malaya, China, Korea, Japan, Tibet and Khotan in Central Asia.

To this day most of these countries look upon Buddha as their supreme spiritual redeemer.

Buddha passed into eternity after completing his Sahasra Chandra Darshana i.e., 1000 full moon days (80th year) on the full moon day of Vaishaakha - the day of his birth as also of his Enlightenment. And to this day, Buddha lives on as a beacon-light to billions the world over, who yearn for the peace and well-being of all living creation.

Source: n

Come To me As Buddha-Paramhansa Yogananda

O Buddha, the gold vein of thy sermon of mercy ran through gloom-gorged, rocky hearts, and illumined their darkness.

Thou loftiest soarer of renunciation's skies, beneath thy God-lifted eyes, the kingdom of sense-comfort, the rivers of gross greed, the vast and lust-scorched deserts of desire, the tall trees of temporal ambition, the cactus plants of prickly world-worries—all melt into invisible smallness.

Buddha, the arc-light of thy sympathy sought to melt the hardness of cruel hearts. Once thou didst save a lamb by offering thyself in its stead.

Thy solemn thoughts still silently roam through the ether of minds, searching for ecstasy-tuned hearts. Seated beneath the banyan bodhi tree, thou didst make a solemn tryst with the Spirit:

"Beneath the banyan bough,
On the sacred seat I take this vow:
Let derma, bones, and fleeting flesh dissolve;
Until the mysteries of life I solve,
And receive the all-coveted Priceless Lore,
From this place I shall stir, never, nevermore."

Thou symbol of sympathy, incarnation of mercy, give us thy determination, that we may seek truth as doggedly as thou didst. Bless us, that we may be awakened, like thee, to seek remedy for the sorrow-throbs of others as we seek it for ourselves.

Buddha explaining existence of God

Once it happened:

Buddha entered a village. A man asked him as he was entering the village, "Does God exist?" He said, "No, absolutely no."

In the afternoon another man came and he asked, "Does God exist?" And he said, "Yes, absolutely yes."

In the evening a third man came and he asked, "Does God exist?" Buddha closed his eyes and remained utterly silent. The man also closed his eyes. Something transpired in that silence. After a few minutes the man touched Buddha's feet, bowed down, paid his respects and said, "You are the first man who has answered my question."

Now, Buddha's attendant, Ananda, was very much puzzled: "In the morning he said no, in the afternoon he said yes, in the evening he did not answer at all. What is the matter? What is really the truth?"

So when Buddha was going to sleep, Ananda said, "First you answer me; otherwise I will not be able to sleep. You have to be a little more compassionate towards me too. I have been with you the whole day. Those three people don't know about the other answers, but I have heard all the three answers. What about me? I am troubled."

Buddha said, "I was not talking to you at all! You had not asked, I had not answered YOU. The first man who came was a theist, the second man who came was an atheist, the third man who came was an agnostic. My answer had nothing to do with God, my answer had something to do with the questioner. I was answering the questioner; it was absolutely unconcerned with God.

"The person who believes in God, I will say no to him because I want him to drop his idea of God, I want him to be free of his idea of God -- which is borrowed. He has not experienced. If he had experienced he would not have asked me; there would have been no need.
"The person who believed in God, he was trying to find confirmation for his belief from me. I was not going to say yes to him -- I am not going to confirm anybody's belief. I had to say no, I had to deny, just to destroy his belief, because all beliefs are barriers to knowing the truth. Theist or atheist, all beliefs, Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan, all beliefs are barriers.

"And the person with whom I remained silent was the right inquirer. He had no belief, hence there was no question of destroying anything. I kept silent. That was my message to him: Be silent and know. Don't ask, there is no need to ask. It is not a question which can be answered. It is not an inquiry but a quest, a thirst. Be silent and know.

I had answered him also; through my silence I gave him the message and he immediately followed it -- he also became silent. I closed my eyes, he closed his eyes; I looked in, he looked in, and then something transpired. That's why he was so much overwhelmed, he felt so much gratitude, for the simple reason that I did not give him any intellectual answer. He had not come for any intellectual answer; intellectual answers are available very cheap. He needed something existential -- he needed a taste. I gave him a taste."

Anybody who gives you a belief system is your enemy, because the belief system becomes the barrier for your eyes, you cannot see the truth. The very desire to find the truth disappears. But in the beginning it is bitter if all your belief systems are taken away from you. The fear and anxiety which you have been suppressing for millennia, which is there, very alive, will surface immediately. No God can destroy it, only the search for truth and the experience of truth – not a belief – is capable of healing all your wounds, of making you a whole being. And the whole person is the holy person !

Monday, May 4, 2009

'Speech is only in silence'

Bad Antogast, (Germany), April 29 (Wednesday): An audience representing 31 countries sat rapt in attention as His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spoke this evening:

'There is nothing to say. In the silence of the Guru, questions disappear. Do you know the story of Dakshina Murthi?

Many sages did a lot of meditation. They had a lot of questions and they came to Dakshina Murthi. The Guru was young, the disciple old, they came and sat next to Dakshina Murti. The Guru did not say a word and all the questions vanished. The Guru is always young in spirit. The disciple is always old because he is bogged down by the past. That is the story of Dakshina Murti!


In silent speech, all questions disappear. Speech is only in silence. That is their spiritual symbol. That is the energy.'

Posted by WisdomfromSriSri at 10:23 AM

‘That beautiful combination of commitment, and dispassion is the most important thing’

Bad Antogast, (Germany), April 30 (Thursday): “Life needs to be a perfect balance between sound and silence, between dynamic activity and stillness, between being funny and jovial, and then being serious. If one aspect is missing, life is incomplete. If you are only serious, and not funny, then it’s not complete. If you are only funny, you become superficial. You are not deep.

Silence is our ability to switch between them, this is most important. Your ability to be busy, and yet relaxed.

Your ability to be concerned, deeply concerned, yet completely dispassionate. If you are deeply attached to something, you are prone to get angry, upset or frustrated.

At the same time if you are only detached, you will be careless, uncaring, uncommitted.

That beautiful combination of commitment, and dispassion is the most important thing.

There are five aspects that make the individual soul connected to the Divine, or make the individual soul different from the divine:






So how will you know whether you have grown in life? How do you know if you have come close to God? Examine these five aspects. These keep you separate from God. How ignorant were you five years ago, ten years ago, a year ago? How much more knowledge do you have now? Is there an improvement? Just imagine how you were before your first Sudarshan Kriya, and what you are now. Is there a difference?

Audience: Yes!

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your ignorance has reduced. That is Asmita. How unnatural were you before and how much natural are you now? How much more at ease are you? Are you less egoistic now? Are you thinking less about ‘Me, me, me, me, me’? Are you freer?

Audience: Yes!

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The aspects of avidya and asmita have reduced? You are more with the nature, more natural. There is less of “I, I.”

The third aspect: cravings. How strong were your cravings before and how much have they reduced? Is it less?

Audience: Yes!

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Aversion. How much is the aversion now? Anything that gives pleasure creates craving, anything that gives pain or displeasure creates aversion. Is it not less now?

And fear. Is this less? And it reduces further, as you practice. That is why, these practices are meant to reduce these five things in life and keep you close to Divinity, the Universal Spirit. And that is enlightenment.

Achieving enlightenment is reducing all these things to almost nothing, one percent - because as long as the body is there, this one percent has to remain. From 99 percent to one percent.

From the time you are born up to three years, these aspects are in a very small proportion. From the third year onwards, all these things increase up to ninety nine percent. And then through education and sadhana, you start to reduce them again.

A baby of two – three months doesn’t have much of these aspects - they are not afraid. Have you seen fear in a baby? Only when baby grows older - six months, one year – do the qualities of the mother begin to appear. Craving and aversion come in when the baby turns a year old. If the baby gets something sweet, then craving appears. When someone unfamiliar comes near, the baby will push them away.

That is when the individual spirit, soul, becomes more prominent. Before that it is only God, Universal Spirit. Universal Spirit gets back to individual spirit with this. Like air inside the balloon. When the balloon bursts, the air goes out. Like in life, when these five things are reduced – ignorance, ego, craving, aversion, and fear - then consciousness, scintillating energy comes up. It is satchitanand. Sat - truth, chit - consciousness, anand - bliss.

That is the balance - to have fun, but in the next moment, have the ability to be still, to be serious. To be very serious, but to be able to crack a joke. Serious people get annoyed when a joke is cracked. You should have the ability to switch from one, and tolerate more.

Similarly, music, and silence. Feel at home in silence. Some are always in silence, and some always listen to the music. Life is complete when you can switch between the spectrum. That is the Shiva element, Shiva dance. When Shiva dances, the world shakes, it is so powerful, such a dynamic dance. And yet Shiva can be absolutely still. These two aspects are expressed: one that is very innocent, and in the highest knowledge at the same time. There are people who are ignorant, yet innocent. Shiva is wise, and innocent. The complete range of life, consciousness, so alive.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Are the participants in the Teacher’s Training Course doing well?

Audience: Yes!

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have no choice. You know what is very important, in Art of Living, when you go out in the world, you shouldn’t get lost in the glamor or in the fun. Have fun, but don’t get lost in it. It will be there for a few days, few months, then you will find yourself empty. How many of you have had this experience? But you never thought about it, right? Art of Living gives a lot of fun to you, meditation gives you so much energy, your devotion, and energy brings so much joy, and fun. But when we put our foot, and just get lost there, all this goes. Then we wonder why our meditation is not good.

I have said in one knowledge sheet: If you follow wisdom, fun follows you. If you follow fun, misery follows you. The sutra is just to be in silence. So you can have fun, but don’t get lost it. Got it? Don’t feel guilty. Some people feel guilty: ‘Oh, I’m having fun.’ Balance it. Know that you should not get lost in it. It’s ok.

Do you know that there are two types of devotees? One is a monkey, and another one is a kitten. An intellectual person is like a monkey. Like a baby monkey, clings on to the mother monkey, and follows her everywhere. The mother monkey doesn’t do anything, and the baby monkey does not go far away. The baby monkey clings on the tummy or on the back. The mother doesn’t bother. This is an intellectual person, conscious, aware.

Then there are the others, they are like the kitten. A kitten plays around, and the mother takes it with her mouth, by the hair, and carries it around. The mother uses the same teeth to bite a mouse, but she doesn’t hurt the kitten. It is the same with nature – it takes care of us like this. It is the path of love, and devotion.

An intellectual person is taking an action. In the life of the seeker, sometimes it the monkey, and sometimes it is the kitten. Kitten is when you are in so much love, hollow and empty, and monkey thinks and analyzes. It is up to you, what do you want to be?

Both are good.

Posted by WisdomfromSriSri at 11:08 AM

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Master is a doorway. And the doorway needs to be more charming than the world so that you will come to the doorway. Someone is in the street and there is rain, thunder, hot sun; they need shelter. They look around, they find a doorway. They come to the doorway. The doorway is more inviting, more charming, more celebrative, more joyful than anything else in the world.

Nothing could give that much peace, joy, pleasure in the world. Once you come to the doorway, you enter the door and see the world from there. See the world from the eyes of the Master. This is a sign that you have come to the Master. Otherwise you may still be standing in the street and looking at the door.

But once you have entered the door, then you will see the whole world from the eyes of the Master. This means what? In every situation that you face, you will think, "If this situation comes in front of the Master, how would he handle it?" or "How would she handle it?" "If this complication comes in front of the Master, how would he take it?" "If someone blames the Master like this, how would he handle it?" See the world from the eyes of the Master all the time.

The world looks much more beautiful; not a nasty place. But a place filled with love, filled with joy, cooperation, compassion, and all virtues. The world is much more fun. Looking through the doorway, there is no fear. You will look at the world without any fear. You will be in all relationships with everybody without any fear. Because there is shelter.

From inside home, you will look at the thunder, you will look at the storm, you will look at the rain, you will look at the bright sun. Inside you have air conditioning. Very cool, pleasant. Outside it's hot. You donĂ’´ mind because there is nothing that can really distract you, disturb you, or take the fullness away from you. Such a sense of security, such a sense of fullness and joy comes. That is the purpose of having a Master.

All relationships in the world go topsy-turvy. You make relationships and you break relationships. All relationships can get broken or made up and again broken. And there is craving and aversion. This is the world. This is samsara.

But the Master is not a relationship. The Master is the Presence. What is necessary is to feel the Presence of the Master, not to make a relationship. Don't make the Master a part of your world. Then the same, "Oh, he looked at me." "He didn't look at me." "Oh, he said this." "He didn't say that." "Oh, somebody is close. I am not close." All this garbage comes into it. You feel the Presence of the Master, that is eternal. That has been there with you before, now, and will be there in the future, too.

Master is the Presence. World is relativity. And relativity has limitations. Presence is unlimited. Presence is vast, infinite, and all comprehensive, all inclusive. And the presence of the Master in one's life will bring fulfillment to all relations. Every relationship will become complete with the presence of the Infinity if the Master is in your life.

Weekly Knowledge #5, 12 Jul 1995, Montreal Ashram Canada