Gurudev, you found us in this lifetime. But since you visit this planet so rarely, or so I think, what happens to all of us until we meet again during all those other life times? Do we slip back somehow? Do we continue to grow in knowledge?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is no slipping back!
This is what we celebrate on Guru Poornima; we look back and see how much we have grown, and how we cannot slip back, totally.
If you walked 10 steps ahead, it may appear that you have gone back eight steps, but not quite all the 10 steps. Moreover, what may appear to you as eight steps may be four-five steps or three-four steps. But never mind; I don’t mind, you don’t need to either!
One thing we must determine, 'Whether things happen or not, let me at least not lose my joy! Let me be happy!’ By your being unhappy, things are not going to change, for sure.
You embarked on a project or some work, it didn’t happen. Just because that did not happen; at least don’t lose what you already have. You have some happiness, don’t lose it for that! If you remember this, it is enough!
Do you know what the meaning of sadhana is? Sadhana means having the feeling ‘I am close to the Divine. I am close to the universal consciousness. I have a connection with the big mind!’ this connection is enough. If you remember this, you are successful in your sadhana; you don't need to do anything more!
I don’t mean you should drop your meditation; don’t take me wrong. Do all the meditation, pranayama and everything that gives you good mental and physical well-being. But spiritually, you just have to know it, and feel it from your side. You should simply feel, ‘I am connected to the big mind. I am connected to Divinity. I am connected to the Master. It is all One. I am connected to myself’.
Some things the mind agrees with, and some things it does not agree with.
Sometimes your intellect feels, ‘I am right’, it could be, never mind, you put all that on one side. In the limited sphere of action, there is always some action better than the other. It appears to be better sometimes, and sometimes it is better. All actions have flaws, shortcomings, and all actions have benefits. There is not one single action that could be perfect. It appears like that, but what appears and what is, are very different! Your main goal is to keep the knowledge, and hammer it. So, do not lose the joy!
I know it is easier said than done. You may say, ‘Oh Gurudev, it is so easy for you, it is not easy for me, it is difficult’.
I know it very well, but still I can’t resist the temptation to tell you that at least keep the happiness!
You may have lost out on your relationship, but don’t lose your smile!
Yes, you lost one relationship, never mind, there are 7 billion people out there! Someone else will come and find you. If you keep the smile, then someone else will come into your life. Otherwise, who will come and make friends with a depressed person? If you are depressed or look depressed, then you won’t find another boyfriend or girlfriend! Nobody will look at you or get charmed by a person who has a long face.
When you are looking for a companion, enthusiasm and smiles are exactly what you need.
Now, you may not have a job, yet, it is okay.
Who would like to give a job to someone who has a long face, and looks so depressed? Come on, life will go on. You will not starve and die. Everything will come to you! You are connected to the big mind, to the universal spirit. You are on the spiritual path. ‘I am going to walk, come what may! I will find a job falling on my lap. I should keep looking for it though!’
If you do this, then The Art of Living has succeeded in its mission!
Suppose you have an argument or a fight with someone at home, then don’t take too long for the smile to come back. Your fight should be like one of the modes on the cell phone, i.e., audio, video, camera. Your cell phone cannot afford to be stuck in the camera mode for long, it should be able to switch faster, right? In the same way, the mind can be in the fight mode, but the next minute, change the mode!
For some of you, it is such a big relief - Gurudev has given the permission to fight!
Something off the chest!
Don’t worry, if you have to fight, then fight, but come back and smile again. Change! You have the ability to do that! I don’t want you to become like vegetables, saying yes all the time, and being a weakling.
I want you to be strong and smiling, strong and subtle, sensible and sensitive, all at the same time.
There are people who are very sensible, yet they cannot tolerate nonsense. If you cannot tolerate nonsense, then you lose this sensitivity, right?
Yet, there are people who are sensitive, but not sensible. They are so sensitive, if someone yawns while they are talking, they will say, ‘Look, they are not interested in what I am saying to them!’
Do you know, yawning became the cause of a divorce somewhere?
The wife said, ‘Whenever I talk to my husband, he starts yawning, he is disinterested in me. It is an insult to my personality. Every time I talk to him, he starts yawning’.
So, people who are too sensitive, they are not sensible. I want you to be both, sensible and sensitive.
Now, don’t go back and say, ‘Oh, I am sensible and not sensitive', or 'I am sensitive and not sensible.’
Don’t go on that trip again. Just keep it at the back of the mind, somewhere; it stays there.
How is self-knowledge obtained? In Sanskrit, this is called Pratyabhijna. (It is such a beautiful word, there is no word parallel to this in any other language). Pratyabhijna means recognizing. Pratyabhijna hradaym is the heart’s recognition of the self. That is what all this knowledge is about. This balance, this meditation, the three things we spoke about, i.e., passion, dispassion and compassion. Knowledge comes not by doing, by just recognizing.
For example, people usually put their reading glasses on top of their head, and then start looking around for their glasses.
Someone just tells them, ‘Hey, it is there on your head!’
Then they say, ‘Oh, yes!’ So, knowledge immediately gives its fruit. You don’t have to do anything; there is no karma in between, no action in between. You were looking for the glasses, and you suddenly realized that they were right there. So, knowledge of your glasses or spectacles came with the spectacles. You got it because you already had it. There is no distance between knowledge and its achievement.
Let me make it clearer. Suppose you have the knowledge of apple pie, there is a distance between your knowledge of apple pie and achieving it, i.e., getting it and eating it. However, to know that there are spectacles sitting above your eyebrows, the knowledge itself was the fruit. The knowledge immediately gave you the result also. There was no action in between.
Guru vaani, words of wisdom, means that you listen to the words (knowledge), and immediately you get it. You don’t have to do something about it.
See, you are beautiful; that doesn’t need anything for you to do to know that you are beautiful. Got it?
So far, I have been telling you to do all this; do pranayama, satsang, bhajan, devotion. Now I am telling you something completely different! What? Just wake up!
How do you wake up? It is not a question. You have heard me, you have already woken up!
Someone is sleeping, and you say, ‘Hey, come on wake up!’
When they heard it, they have already woken up, correct? That is what it is, instantaneous! No gap between the siddhi, getting it, and knowing it. That is it!
Now see, it gives you such a big relief inside! Suddenly, you think, ‘I don’t have to do anything’.
Someone has said you are beautiful, now you don’t have to do any makeup, you are beautiful; you simply have to believe in it.
Now, you can go on and say, ‘No, I am not beautiful, look my nose is bent, my eyebrows are little. I have to go to a pedicure or manicure? Take my eyebrows off and do something to look good.’
I say, ‘Come on! You are beautiful!’ Finished! You don’t have to go and put that pack or foundation!
If you think you are not beautiful, and that you have to go to the beautician, put foundation, and then on top of that, rose color to make your cheeks red, and put some green here, blue there, and something glittering on top of the eyes, only then you will look beautiful, then what can I say to you?
Okay, do it!
See, this is exactly what is happening in the minds of people. Their belief in doing is so strong that they cannot take it even if someone is saying to them that they are beautiful. They say, ‘No, first I have to go and get a haircut, then put my tie on, and then I have to look good again with some sparkling things.’
I don’t say you should not do all that, it is okay. If there are products you would like to use that make you feel nice, soft outside; remember that you are very soft and nice inside too.