Gurudev, you talk about dispassion and equanimity, but when I let go of my defenses, I am becoming more sensitive. How to come out of it?
Sri Sri: Read Yoga Vasistha. You have to see that the whole world is just a dream. That will give you the endurance and the strength to withstand unpleasant situations as well. Or listen to Ashtavakra's knowledge. Keep your intellect above the worldly waters. There will always be turbulences there. When you keep your intellect at a higher plane, then you will act, yet not get so attached to it.
Gurudev, Lord Krishna played the role of a Guru to Arjuna. In Lord Krishna’s life, what role did Arjuna play? What role can a disciple play in Guru’s life?
Sri Sri: There can be only two types of disciples: the easy disciple, and the tough disciple. The tough ones are hard nuts to crack. It will take a long time for the tough ones to get the point.
The easy ones are those who know, who become sensitive, and who get it. You can say, like a buffalo or a cow.
If you just shout ‘Aye!’ to a cow, it understands and moves forward. But for a buffalo, you have to take a big bamboo stick and hit it lightly to really get it to move; only then it will move. Or you have to literally come and push it with your hands.
So these are the two types of disciples. Ones who listens easily and gets it, and who is sensitive, The other doesn’t listen, and takes a long time to get the point.
Gurudev, are you Lord Krishna?
Sri Sri: Why? Are you going to bring some problems for me?
Read Bhagavad Gita. Lord Krishna says, one who sees me in everything and in everyone, is really the intelligent one.
'Yo mam pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati tasyaham na pranashyami sa cha me na pranashyati'. (6.30)
One who sees me in everybody and me in everybody are the intelligent ones. That is why it is said, 'Sarvam Vasudevam iti sa-mahatma sa-durlabhaha' (Rare are those holy souls who see Me in everything and everything in Me). Such great people are very difficult to find, who say that everything is Vasudeva (God).
Gurdev, why is Ekadashi very dear to Lord Krishna? Today is Vaikunth Ekadashi. Today after celebrating it with you, are the doors of Vaikunth (Paradise) open for us?
Sri Sri: You should first understand what 'Vaikunth' (in Indian mythology, referring to the abode of Lord Vishnu) means. It is a place where there is no lack, or shortage; there is only abundance.
It is written in the Srimad Bhagawatam, that everyone in Vaikunth is Lord Narayana Himself (meaning that in such a divine abode, every soul is elevated to Divinity and appears as Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Consciousness that permeates all of Creation). You cannot distinguish who is the Lord (Narayan) and who is the devoted sevak (servant or devotee).
The word kuntha in Hindi means shortage. And a place where there is no lack, or shortage of anything, that is what Vaikuntha is. It is said that everyone in Vaikunth (Paradise) is in the form of Lord Narayana Himself. There is no inferiority complex, no superiority complex.
Do you feel that there is any scarcity here?
When you come close to the Guru, you will find (Mount) Kailasha (the abode of Lord Shiva, also signifying the abode of total bliss), and Vaikuntha also there.
You know, the Guru is a Tattva (the most fundamental element or principle). We often chant: 'Guru Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwaraha', isn’t it? The Guru Tattva has all three powers and qualities: Guru Brahma (referring to the power of the Guru as Lord Brahma. the Creator), Guru Vishnu (referring to the power of the Guru as Lord Vishnu, the preserver and protector of Creation), and Guru Maheshwara (referring to the power of the Guru as Lord Shiva, the great transformer and destroyer of all negativity).
So the Guru Tattva has all the three. So where all these three are present, that is where Vaikuntha will also be.
What is Kailasha? A place where there is only joy and bliss, where there is only celebration; there is only love everywhere. That is what Kailasha is. Vaikunth (Paradise) means that place where there is no shortage, there is only abundance.
Today is Vaikunth Ekadashi, so you can fast and remain hungry, even though here there is no scarcity (laughter). If there is shortage and you have to go hungry, then that is poverty. Here there is no shortage of anything, everything is in abundance, and still you are fasting. This is Vaikunth Ekadashi.
It is said that on this day Lord Krishna gave the Bhagavad Gita. So today is celebrated as Gita Jayanti (celebrating the day the Gita was delivered to the World) also.
Today it is called Devotthana Ekadashi also. All the Gods and Goddesses (implying the Divinity within oneself) are said to be asleep till today. Today they wake up and once again engage themselves in the welfare and upliftment of people.
So the message for today is to wake up the Divinity which is within each one of you. Commit yourself to the welfare of the nation.
Gurudev, I remember the story of a movie I saw ten years back. Yet I forget the knowledge I heard yesterday. How come?
Sri Sri: Never mind. Knowledge will come from time to time when it is needed, and then you forget it also. Forgetfulness is also bliss. You should not carry all the knowledge; it is too heavy on the head.
You know, knowledge is also like soap. In the Bhagavad Gita, it is said, 'Na hi jnanena sadrusham pavitram iha vidyate. Tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah kalenatmani vindati'. (4.38)
You put on the soap and then you wash it away. So, take the knowledge, use it and then become hollow and empty. You become free from it. And when it is needed, it will surely come to you.
Gurudev, what is the importance of sacrifice in the life?
Sri Sri: You get strength from sacrifice. It increases your valor.
Sacrifice brings you so much peace, and you feel that your life is fruitful. You never get as much happiness by craving or acquiring things, as much as you get by sacrificing them.
When we give something to someone, don't we get happiness? What pleasure you get in giving is more than the pleasure you get in receiving. Of course there is happiness in getting the things you have desired for, but the happiness which you get by giving and sharing is double.
Only those who have something can give something. That is why, sacrifice, the pleasure of giving is one level higher than the pleasure you get in receiving.