Surrey, Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, July 9:
Excerpts from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s talk at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Our voices should be strong. The voice of truth and religion is weak. When the voice of violence is strong, it creates trouble. When the voice of love is strong and the voice of violence is weak, that is satyayuga (the age of truth). The voice of Lord Rama should be stronger than Ravana’s. Only then can he win. It is the same with Lord Krishna.
It is when life feels like a struggle that we must focus on knowledge. Even Arjuna was not first told to fight. He was told to be in knowledge and meditation. Only then should we work. Always be in knowledge and then work.
To get knowledge we don’t need to go to the Himalayas. Knowledge can come even in the activities of everyday life. Wanting perfection in work sometimes creates anger. If somebody does something wrong, it can create anger.
There are three types of perfection:
Perfection in mind is keeping our mind in peace.
Perfection in speech is to speak only when needed. No need to get into fights.
Also there is perfection in action. Perfection in action is not 100 percent possible.
However, perfection in mind and speech can be obtained by sadhana (spiritual practices), seva (service) and satsang (music and meditation). Once our mind and speech are perfect, work will also become perfect automatically.
I am very happy that the temple authority here is securing the culture of India. The culture of India is to accommodate everyone. Nobody is different. We have made everybody our own. For instance, the Guru Granth Sahib expresses Brahmgyan in simple language. This is the special aspect of India. We should not keep this knowledge within us. We should share so that everybody gets the benefit. This is also important.
Often people ask, “Why do we pray to so many gods and goddess?” The Paramatma (the Divine) is one, yet called by different names. Just as with the same flour, we may make noodles sometimes and on another occasion, samosa (an Indian snack) or something else. It is still all the same flour. In the same way, it is the same Paramatma that we evoke through different names, forms and colors.
The meaning of aarti is complete happiness. Only when our life’s radiance is around God, do we get complete happiness. We should dive into the meaning of all rituals and then we will be happy and make others happy. We have to get rid of unhappiness. We all should do pranayama. We should focus on our breath everyday for 10 minutes or so. This is called pranayama and kriya. Through this, people can experience bliss. To be in bliss is total rest. The kriya also helps to maintain health as well as purifies the mind, intellect and emotions. It helps us to come out of our guilt and be in the present moment.
Do you use a cell phone? If you keep on pressing numbers but there is no SIM card inside, will it work? Now if you have the SIM card and no range, will it work? If the range and SIM card are there, but no charge, will it work?
Sadhana is the SIM card, range is faith. If you pray and claim that God didn’t hear, you don’t have a SIM card. No prayer will work. The charge is satsang. Temples and Gurudwaras are places to charge up. If we fight in a temple or Gurudwara, then also the pure energy will be lost. God will not be there.
Where all are happy, God comes. When the mind is happy our work gets done and we are able to bless others to heal themselves. All powers are hidden within the Self. Atma gyan (Self knowledge) will bring these out. If you bless people, everything will manifest. If you have a cell phone but don’t dial the number, will that work? You have to connect to yourself, prakriti (your nature), atma and paramatma. Then everything will manifest. That is why we have made a lot of blessers*. Blessers are already happy. They can bless people and heal them.
A village has been transformed from a very badly reputed place in Maharashtra, India to a model village. People were fearful to go there. Now 700 families are in satsang there everyday! We have found that there are no locks needed in that village anymore. There is only one store with no store-keeper. People go there to buy food, and they themselves put the the price of the commodity taken in the boxes. This has become a model village with clear water and every house is colored in pink. People do their own cleaning. They have switched over to organic farming. There is no chemical farming. Everybody is employed. For the past three years this village has been running like this and 180 more villages are moving along the same track. Nobody drinks alcohol or smokes.
We can make this dream a reality. We can make it happen. We have got everything and we are sitting here, keeping our mind free, clean and pure. Our only condition is you have to leave all your tension, stress, worries, pain. All these you must leave here and go home with a smile. Life is to be lived with happiness. We should not live life with sadness nor make others sad. Leave every unhappiness here. I am here only to remind you that God is there and He is your very own.
Thirty minutes of meditation will make you look brighter. We should all meditate for thirty minutes everyday. We should all go to temple and sit with our eyes closed for a few minutes. Do not leave a temple without meditating.