Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, we ask such questions many times. There is no dearth of knowledge about anything we want to know about. Nowadays, knowledge is available at a click of a button. Type your query on Google and you will get everything. But that is not the actual thing. There is something else. What is that? You need to just wake up and realize that everything is going to end one day.
Everything that has ever happened till this day, till this very moment, does not exist anymore. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad. No matter what happened till now, no longer exists. It is all finished.
As we go ahead in life, we will realize that everything is going to end. Nothing will remain. And yet, we still sit and go on thinking over it, worrying about this and that.
Shake everything off yourself, just wake up and see – there is nothing. Everything is nothing, that’s it. This very realization is enough for wisdom to dawn within you.
The nothing that remains is what everything truly is. You need to remind yourself of this again and again, so that it gets instilled in your memory.
After listening to the entire Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna says, 'I remember now'.
What does he remember? That all this is nothing! I am not this. If I was this then I would have ended. I have surpassed all this and moved on, this hasn’t even touched me.
This we must remember again and again.
See, you go to school or college and somebody curses you - hasn’t it happened to you?
In college, there is nobody who hasn’t heard curses from someone, whether friend or enemy. At that moment, we might have felt so heavy, but is that heaviness still present? It is not there, it has passed away. Just see how you have surpassed all that and moved ahead.
So, Everything is Nothing - this is called the Hridaya Sutra (aphorism of heart) as was told by Lord Buddha. This is also what Adi Shankaracharya called as the philosophy of Advaita. All the five elements are nothing. The five senses are nothing. I am nothing. You are nothing.
In the language of the knowledgeable, this translates to, 'All this is nothing'.
Devotees say the same thing in a different way – they say, 'I am akinchan' (I am nothing). If you just understand this, great awareness dawns within you.
So whenever something worries you, awaken yourself. Remind yourself that one day we all have to die. No matter how much you decorate and adorn this body, one day it will burn on the funeral pyre.
See every problem as a challenge. Take it as a challenge and see. Then there is no power in this world that can wipe the smile off your face.
To know this, how many books will you have to read? What all will you do, where will you go? You don’t have to do anything. This is what you are learning - the art of doing nothing!
People have gotten so tired asking again and again, 'What do I do?' And the gurus who keep saying, 'Do this, do that, do this', have grown tired of saying it. So you have to do nothing - just know that all this is nothing.
Now this doesn’t mean you sit and keep chanting this. Then it will become a kind of a disease.
They have caught a new kind of disease overseas - they call it 'affirmations'. Think a particular though within you repeatedly.
In Switzerland, we had a workshop once. And after the workshop we went to a nearby hotel to have some tea and snacks. There, a couple was sitting and they asked me, what do I do. I said that I teach meditation.
I asked them what they do. They said that they practice and teach affirmations.
A husband wakes up at 3am, sits on the bed and says, 'I love myself, I love myself, I love myself' to himself repeatedly. Does one have to do all that to understand such a simple fact?
Our devotees and seekers, who were there at that time, said 'We don’t have to do anything like that. We do Sudarshan Kriya and we automatically feel that ‘I love myself’. We don’t have to say it again and again.'
Now you are here in Rishikesh, do you have to remind yourself that you are in Rishikesh? You know where you are. If you say this repeatedly then sometimes doubt comes. Then one may think, 'Am I really here?' (Laughter)