Discover your unlimited power and freedom - not as a concept, but as a direct experience with the Sudarshan Kriya -
(age: 18+ years)
(also known as the basic course or Part 1 course)
Learn More | Register Now
Experience an extraordinary sense of peace and renewed vitality with the practice of silence, meditation and service. (also known as Part 2 course or Advanced Meditation Course) Learn More | Register Now
The Art of Living Program for Excellence at Workplace offers Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises a structured intervention to eliminate stress, enhance inspirational levels and arrive at an overall work life balance of its employees. Learn More
Government Executive Program (GEP) is the Art of Living's flagship offering for the Indian Government organizations - Central Government, State Governments, Subordinate Departments, Autonomous Bodies, Public Sector Undertakings, Armed Forces / Police Forces, and Training Institutes Learn More
Gurudev, Guru Gobind Singh was a warrior. Can a saint also be a warrior?
Sri Sri: Absolutely! Saints used to be warriors.
Vishwamitra, Parshuram, etc. There are so many Rishis in Shrimad Bhagvatam who were warriors.
Guru Gobindji raised this slogan, 'Sant sipahi bano' (a saint should become warrior).
In fact only a saint should be a warrior. If someone whose heart is clean becomes a warrior, then good will happen for everyone. If an angry, greedy, arrogant person becomes a warrior, then he will just mess up.
Mahatma Gandhi is also in that category, he was a saint as well as a warrior.
In each one of us there is a saint and a soldier, wake them up, it is time. There is an opportunity in India, in 2014, to be a sant sipahi (saint who is a soldier). Wake up the lion asleep in you. India has fallen, in every way it has fallen. In the world of spirituality also, strange things are being heard. Too much degradation. So, the politics of this country should be cleaned up first. You should stand up for that. Look, if we hire a guard at home, we only give a duty of 8 hours to the guard, isn’t it?
In a day, there are 3 guards. Their duty changes in 8 hours, because they get tired after 8 hours! So, when at home, we change guards every 8 hours, how will it work if we keep the same guard for 10 years!
If you drag a tired person and insist him to guard, is it injustice or not. It is against the labor laws (laughter). A change is required. Time and again, a change is required.
See, we are not of any one party, we belong to everyone. A supreme court’s justice is not for any one party, it is for everyone, isn’t it? The country’s president is for everyone. Similarly, we are for everyone. So we can say, change is needed. And getting the change is in your hands.
Okay, if a change is needed, should we just get any new person?
If you give a broom to someone to clean, they should be told that first the verandah needs to be cleaned, then the house needs to be cleaned from inside. If a broom has been given, and you say, 'Clean the verandah now', and immediately say, 'Clean up inside also now', neither the verandah nor the inside of the house will be clean.
Also, always see which hand is holding the broom. See that it doesn’t so happen that the person you want to change comes back in another form. Be alert on this. Give strength to the country, work for the strength. I am not talking of any one person, but a change is needed.
Tell the person on duty that if they are little tired, take a little rest! If you keep working without any rest, scam upon scam will go on. So we should be aware. Everyone should work for a change.
I was abused as a child. What is the best way to forgive that person?
Sri Sri: You know, people who abuse, either they have been victims or they are ignorant. If they are ignorant, it is not their fault. They have never been educated. You have to have pity for them, compassion for them. And if they are victims themselves, then they inturn become culprits, then also they need compassion. They never got a chance to know about themselves, they never got a chance to control their emotions. They were not taught how to control their tendencies, or how to get out of the bad habits that they had cultivated. This guidance was missing.
When you see from this angle, you will find that inside every culprit there is a victim crying for help. And when you recognize the victim inside the culprit, your anger, hatred, and frustration will simply drop. You don’t have to do anything, it will just disappear.
So this is why I say, see the situation from a broader perspective. And forgive for your own sake, not for their sake. When you forgive, what happens? At least your mind gets free from that past, from that trauma, and you move forward.
And help others, there are so many other people who are getting into that trap. See what you can do to help them. This is what we should do. See the past as destiny, the future as freewill and in the present be dynamic, be active. Do the best you can to the world around you.
Gurudev, what was special about Sanjay that he could see what was going on in the war of Mahabharat? What was that divine vision?
Sri Sri: There were no televisions in those days, the humans had to train their minds in such a way. We don’t know how much time he must have taken, meditating to enable him to see things. But it is possible. We all have this power.
If the heart is clean and the mind is silent, then if we sit and focus on something, it’s happenings keep occurring to us. It’s also called intuition, or intuitive awareness.
How many of you have experienced this? (Many hands go up)
It increases with meditation.
Gurudev, is money bad or are we bad? When we have money then greed also comes. What should our relationship with money be?
Sri Sri: Neither money is bad nor are you. Don’t treat anything or anyone as bad – not money and not oneself. If you want to be greedy, be greedy for seva (service). If you treat it as bad, then you will be stuck. Nothing is bad.
Why do you blame? In our country, money is treated as Lakshmi (goddess of wealth), Lakshmi certainly isn’t bad.
Do the Arab people and the Indian people share things in common?
Sri Sri: Of course! We all share the same air, the same sun. We are all on the same planet Earth! You can never stop the air from flowing from India to the Gulf, and sometimes from the Gulf to India. It is not possible!
Mohammad Paigambar, the Prophet Mohammad, himself said that he gets a cool breeze from India. And that has been the story for centuries! There has always been harmony in India.
When people were prosecuted elsewhere, this land kept its harmony throughout.
The Jewish people were prosecuted elsewhere, and when they came to India, they were welcomed here. Nobody was prosecuted in this country. The Jews were not prosecuted, the Parsis were not prosecuted, Muslims were never.
Christians were here in the 1st century. One of the apostles of Jesus Christ, Thomas, came to India. He was called 'The doubting Thomas'. He came to India and he was welcomed.
So this is a land where harmony in diversity has always been acknowledged. So there are many common things. I have also written a book called 'Islam and Hinduism', you may pick up the common thread, the common things between the two religions.
Similarly, I have said something about Christianity and Hinduism, you can pick it up.
Gurudev, why is your photo everywhere? What about the ego?
Sri Sri: I in fact, don’t want my photo to be everywhere. I tell people, but they do the same things, they bring it.
Dr. Lawrence Carter also made a portrait of me in Atlanta (laughter). A huge big portrait and put it in the hall of fame there, in the university.
I want to tell you one incident. I was once travelling in a plane and there was a politician, a minister travelling in that same plane. When we got down, the politician was trying to come out, but there were about 200 people trying to give him a garland, and he was refusing. He was running around saying, 'No, no, don’t give me a garland. I am a simple man, don’t honor me'. And the whole drama happened for about half an hour. In his refusing the garland, he made it into a big scene.
I said, 'If they brought it with so much love, you should have just taken it and moved on!'
The whole thing would’ve finished in 2-3 minutes.
In Ashtavakra Gita it is said, your wanting something or refusing something, both are same.
You know, for almost 10 years we had no pamphlets, and no photo of mine was published anywhere; in magazines, newspapers, nowhere. For 10 years, we didn’t do any printing, it was all by word of mouth – if you benefit, tell your friend. And they tell their friends.
So everything was happening by word of mouth. But when it became larger, people said, 'No, we have to do this'. So to give information we started letters. Then printing, and the magazines, all these things started later to keep people informed.
Those days there was no twitter, not even cell phones. The only way was through magazines or newsletters.