The form of the divine is Sat Chit Anandam, when we go near the divine, we become very happy inside.
Questions & Answers
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Gurudev, I’ve heard Gayatri mantra being played on tapes in public. How important is it to get initiated?
Sri Sri: We will go into all those details some other time. Ga-ya-tri – there are three types of misery. We have three bodies, the gross body, the subtle and the causal body. And in all the three levels there is misery. The human life has to cross-over all the three, and that is what Gayatri means. One who sings it, sails over the ocean of misery to go to bliss.
Gurudev, you said in Sanskrit, the word for water and love is the same. In this context, is there some significance of offering water to the Shiva linga.
Sri Sri: Yes, it is a symbol.
In ancient times people would take water in both hands, gaze at the Sun and offer the water.
Sun gazing is very good, because our eyes are photosensitive. So Sun gazing can get the Sun’s energy in the body.
Sun gazing is known all over the world now. When people do Sun gazing, their hunger reduces, there is a boost in their immune system, and a lot of things happen.
There is an expression which is used around the world when one feels so much love or pain. What is that expression? I want to pour my heart out.
The pouring out, gives you a sense of offering everything. So when you offer water to the Shiva Linga, it is a symbol of offering everything, where one feels, 'All that I have, all that I am, these all belong to you my Lord'.
This is the prayer. Namah Na Mamah, nothing is mine, my life is not mine, it is all yours. So as a gesture of pouring everything out, one takes water (as water is the same as love in Sanskrit) and offers to Shiva. Not that Shiva needs water.
Dear Gurudev, the participants aspiring to do the Vedic Wisdom course want to know more about the Gayatri mantra and Sandhyavandanam. Can you please talk about this.
Sri Sri: You know life is three states of consciousness – waking, dreaming and sleeping. When waking state ends and dreaming state begins; when dreaming state ends and sleeping state begins, and when sleeping state ends and waking state begins, at these junction points something fantastic happens. What is that? You get a glimpse of that which is beyond the three.
Mind can experience only these three, but when it stops, you somewhere experience a state which is neither waking nor dreaming nor sleeping. And that is so Divine. And that is the basis of all of creation. A glimpse of that state is what is called Yoga.
Now, what does it do, it removes all fears and it gives a bigger dimension to life.
We think that life is my body, my mind, etc., no! There is much more to life than this.
This experience, i.e., transcending the thought and the emotions and going to another level of stillness, that is called Sandhya. Vandan means adoring that inner state.
When do you usually do Sandyavandanam? When there is transition. When the Sun is rising, the whole creation is undergoing a transition. When the Sun sets again there is a transition . So usually sunrise, sunset and the noon time, you just sit and meditate and do pranayama.
The Gayatri mantra is one of the greatest prayers mankind has.
What does it say? Let me soak in the Divine, and let the Divine destroy all my sins.
The Divine light that burns all sin, let me adore and soak in that Divine light. And let the Divinity inspire my intellect.
See, all our actions happen through our intellect, right? Thoughts come and then you act.
So you pray to the Divine to bring good thoughts into your mind. You pray to the Divine, 'Take over my intellect. Inspire my intellect'; dhiyo yonah prachodayat. Dhi means intellect. May my intellect be guided by, kindled by, and inspired by you (Divinity).
When right thoughts come, your action will always be right. When intuitive thoughts come, your actions will be fruitful. So praying for the best thought. Let my mind, my whole life energy be soaked in Divinity. That is it.
Can ladies chant Gayatri mantra?
Sri Sri: Yes. Nowhere it is said that ladies cannot chant.
It is unfortunate that somewhere in the middle ages, these rights of women were taken away. We have reinstated this in the Ashram. Many ladies are learning.
See it was a male dominated society. The men thought that if ladies do Gayatri Mantra, it will bring them a lot of power; healing power and sankalpa Shakti. Whatever they wish for those things will start happening. So the men said, 'No our wives are already powerful, we don’t want to make them more powerful. So we won’t let them chant the mantra'.
This is why only a small section of people kept this as a highly guarded secret.
Even yoga and pranayama was not taught to common people because it brings so much mental power. It also increases the power of the spirit in a person. And that is why they kept it as a big secret, not letting everybody know it, learn it, or practice it. But we said no way, this belongs to mankind.
So whatever faith one is, religion one is, everyone should be benefit from pranayama, meditation, and chanting.
In many hospitals nowadays, they are using Om chanting.
In Madras, in the hospital, they are chanting Om to get rid of many illnesses. The chantings are very powerful.
Gurudev, people sin in one life, why does God punish them in the next lives. Wouldn’t it be better to know the reason while you’re being punished.
Sri Sri: There are many different types of karma. Some things if you do today, it gives you result immediately.
Suppose there is fire, and you keep your hand in it, will it burn today or tomorrow? It will burn now. But if you sow a mango seed, for it to grow and give fruit, how many years it will take? Six years. Six years later you get the fruit. And if you sow a jackfruit tree, it takes 10 years to give fruit.
A gentleman puts an iron ore factory, it takes so many years to start giving profit. The real profit is enjoyed by his children. The one who struggled and toiled all his life to make the factory run does not enjoy the fruits. When the profit starts coming it is the next generation who enjoys it.
In the Bhagavat Gita it is said, 'Gahana karmano gatih', the ways of karma are unfathomable. There are many different karmas, individual karma, collective karma; there is a karma for time. For every place there is a karma. A tsunami comes and so many people in one area die. Why only that area? It is the karma of that place .
So the more you go deep in karma, it is amazing.
In Hinduism, in the Upanishads, one of the six darshanas is Karma Mimamsa. It talks all about karma.
That book is so big that you hardly find any scholars. Around 35-40 years ago there was only this one gentleman in Benares who had studied the Mimansa. Today we don’t have any scholars in this at all.
Similarly Buddhism has done quite a bit of study on this. And Jains have done lot of research on karma. But the best is to do service (seva).
When you serve others, when you bring relief to people who are in need of solace, that brings you very good karma. That is why charity should be part of everybody’s life. Meditation washes out the bad karma and charity brings in good karma. And both should go simultaneously. Go inward to find the knowledge, the stillness, the peace, and the outward expression of that is your love.
Two things very important in life, knowledge and love.
When you die, two questions will be posed to you, how much knowledge have you gained and how much love you gave?
Gurudev, do you get dreams?
Sri Sri: I have a dream for the country. I want to see a corruption-free, violence-free, stress-free and happy society.