The more you smile the closer you are to the Divinity
December 03, 2011
Questions & Answers
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Dearest Guruji, how to come out from past memories that disturb my mind and soul? Sometimes it hurts a lot.
Sri Sri: When you give events too much importance that is what happens.
Know that all events are like bubbles on the surface of water. Pleasant events, unpleasant events are like waves, they come and they are gone and you are pure, untouched by them. You must remember this!
Second thing is when you are disturbed you feel some sensation in the pit of your stomach.
So instead of putting your attention on the event put it on the sensations in your body. If you observe the sensations you get transformed.
Dear Guruji, if God knows everything then how is life interesting and exciting for him?
Sri Sri: God knows and he doesn’t know as well, both!
Its like, when a hair is pulled from your head you feel it. But do you know how many hairs are on your head? You don’t know!
So on one hand you know about every single hair because if you pull it it pains you, but at the same time you don’t know how many hairs are there.
So knowledge and ignorance go together in that sense.
Like a librarian knows almost all the books that are there in the library and he can guide you to where the book is. But if you ask him on which page of which book what is said, he will not know.
He knows where the book is and he knows the book but yet he does not know all the contents of the book.
Similarly the game can only be interesting if you don’t know the result of the game before hand. If you know who is going to win and who is going to lose then you can’t be sincere in playing the game.
Guruji, I think the biggest attraction is to know the self, which is very abstract and remote for me. What is the quickest way to realize the self so that I do not get caught up with the mundane attractions?
Sri Sri: You are at the right place at the right time.
Dear Guruji, what is spirituality? Is it about religion or is it about the personality?
Sri Sri: You are made up of matter and spirit.
Our body is made up of amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, etc. Your spirit is made up of love, compassion, peace, generosity, commitment, caring, intelligence, responsibility, happiness.
These are all the nature of spirit.
That which enhances the spirit of enquiry, commitment and compassion in you is what spirituality is. Your connection to the universe is spirituality.
If you go to the root of every religion, this is what it says.
In Christianity Jesus said, Love is God and God is Love.
In Hinduisum it is said ‘Asti, Bhati, Preeti.’ Preeti (love) is the nature of God.
Islam talks about peace, commitment, compassion and giving.
So the forms are different but the substance is the same. Holding to the true substance is what spirituality is. And you can do that by going in deep meditation.
What words you use to pray is secondary. What state of being you are in is most important. If you have that soft, inner beautiful feeling, then you are spiritual. Otherwise you may be a priest somewhere, very hard inside but you are not spiritual.
You may go to a temple or church and bow down many times, it means nothing!
But if you are walking in the street with an uplifted feeling, then you are close to God. The more you smile the closer you are to the Divinity.
Dear Guruji, I always feel lonely and left out even thought I have everybody around me. How to come out of this?
Sri Sri: It is good, take it as a gift. Don’t think it is bad.
You feel lonely then know, ‘when I am lonely I am with God and when I am with people then also I am with God.’ When you are lonely you feel free.
‘I came to this world like this and I will go back from this world like this.’
That idea suddenly will make you blossom and something from inside will just spring up.
Dear Guruji, it seems like love has another side called ‘attachment’. Love is a beautiful feeling but attachment causes pain. How can one love without feeling attached?
Sri Sri: Now don’t struggle to detach yourself. You feel attached, that is it! You are attached there is no way out of it.
If you keep doing seva then you will see the attachment will find a larger dimension.
And if you don’t put too much attention to detach, you will find detachment is also automatic. It will come to you with age, time and maturity.
While doing meditation there are some vibrations which come in the Agya chakra. At that time do I do something or just keep quiet?
Sri Sri: If some vibrations come in the Agya chakra let them be there. Don’t try to enhance it or get rid of it, just relax and do nothing. Let whatever is happening happen.
How to meditate in a chaotic city?
Sri Sri: Now, for meditation a quiet environment is congenial, no doubt.
A serene and quiet place with good energy is best suited for meditation but it does not stop you from meditating even in a chaotic place.
Do you sleep in a chaotic place? Yes.
Someone who has lived in a quiet place and suddenly they go and live in an apartment in New York next to the highway, they say, ‘oh my God, the whole night there were sounds of traffic. It felt like the car is running over my head and I could not sleep.’
But the other people who live there are used to the noise and they sleep because they accept that chaos.
Whenever you want to go inward, you need to accept the outer. When you keep resisting the outer you cannot go inward.
So how you deal with the chaos is your own choice.
Guruji, what do you suggest for Attention Deficient Adults. How do they get out of it?
Sri Sri: They should know that death is near.
Attention deficiency is there because they feel death is so far away. They are either locked up on what could be more joyful or there is some restlessness in the system to achieve something which is only in imagination.
So pranayama will help, food will help and time will help because nobody can have this attention deficiency for too long. Somewhere they should change.
Listen to knowledge of dispassion that too will help.
Guruji, sometimes out of social obligations I need to sit in the company of people who drink alcohol. Is that okay?
Sri Sri: As long as you don’t start giving them company in the drinking also.
You can sit socially but you can say, ‘I prefer soft drinks and I will have only soft drinks.’
Guruji, what should be the purpose of life?
Sri Sri: First make a list of what should not be the purpose of life.
The purpose of life is not to be miserable and make others miserable. Purpose of life is not to show-off to other people. Purpose of life is not to think on small terms for short term joy and little pleasures.
So you think about it and one day you will discover.
When you discover you will say, ‘wow!’
Guruji, I somehow cannot allow people to be very close to me. What to do?
Sri Sri: Don’t analyze this so much. Who is anyways close to whom?
If one is not close to them self then nobody is close to anybody. If you are close to yourself then you are close to everybody.
Guruji, I feel very unhappy when I see my girlfriend happier with someone else. I love her but this aspect of me is bringing distance between us. How to handle this?
Sri Sri: I think this is very common even after marriage.
See, when you love somebody you always take it for granted that anyways they are yours.
So when a new person comes you will engage yourself to welcome them and talk to them. Someone looking at you will think you look very happy.
Suppose you are doing the same thing, welcoming someone and talking to them happily and your girlfriend feels so jealous about it, how would you feel?
Put yourself in those shoes.
Many times it could be your own imagination, the way your own mind functions because of possessiveness. When you are possessive then the whole chain of negative thoughts will come.
Why do money, power and fame go to the perfectly wrong person?
Sri Sri: It does not go to the wrong person. It goes to the right person but I think when money, power and fame come, the person becomes wrong. When he becomes wrong he starts losing all of it. Lakshmi also moves away from him.
Guruji, what is God and how did God become God?
Sri Sri: This is like asking what is Sun and how did Sun become Sun.
Sun is sun right! So Sun remains Sun and from Sun everything else happened. Similarly the source of everything is God.
Where did water come from? Water came from the river.
When did the river come from? The clouds.
Where did the clouds come from? The ocean.
Where did the ocean come from? The rivers.
So everything is linked, it is all the same water which went up, and then came down; which is in the ocean, which is in the clouds, which is in the river; and that is God!
Guruji, spiritual leaders are there to keep society on the moral track. But recently there has been a trend where spiritual leader are becoming part of the public affairs. So Instead of having devotion, people are starting to doubt them. What is your suggestion to this?
Sri Sri: This is a wrong idea that spiritual leaders should not involve in the public affairs.
‘If there is a wrong law that is being made, spiritual leaders should just sit in their ashrams and not say their opinion.’
This is not correct.
Every spiritual leader, every human being who has a good heart always says what is right and what is wrong. From time immemorial in this country spiritual leaders have always been advising the kings. They used to tell them what kind of law is good and what law is not good.
If people make obsolete or absurd laws any intelligent person would say this is wrong. They have to do that, it is necessary.
Guruji, yesterday you said it is easier for industrialist to fight corruption together, but even that is difficult. There are so many laws and regulations. It is difficult to run a unit without breaking some law or the other? What should we do?
Sri Sri: I tell you in action there is no 100% perfection.
I will give you an example. Here we have an Ayurvedic college and the hospital is supposed to be 1.5km away from the college, this is the dictated norm.
Now the village is 2.9km away.
So I said, ‘I am going to break this rule and keep the hospital 2.9km away from the college.’
It makes sense because the village people cannot walk the whole distance of 2km to come to a hospital. They need to be close to the hospital.
Especially since Ayurveda is not too popular. First of all we need to make it popular and so it should be closer to the village.
So I said, ‘yes we will make it closer, never mind if we have going to break the rule.’
We rented a building in the village and built the hospital; that was the only way. Otherwise you can have a hospital within 1.5km and no patients. Nobody will come, what do you do?
So sometimes certain laws are such which are obsolete and you have to skillfully walk your way through them. When the authorities came we told them that the hospital should be where there is population.
So that is why there is always an exception for rules. Rules need to be followed but when you see that a rule is almost impossible to follow you should find out where is the exception of the rule.
That is why in the world you need skill (yukti) and energy (shakti). Both are needed to be successful in the world.
Similarly, to be successful in life you need mukti (inner freedom) and bhakti (devotion).
If mind is full with concepts, I am a Jain or I am a Christian, I cannot chant ‘Om’ then our own mental barriers is keeping us away from an experience. We must remove the barrier in the mind and feel free.
Fortunately in India these barriers are very less. I don’t think people have even so much barrier, but if you go to many other places there are a lot of religious barriers in the mind that stop people from communicating with everybody.
In India we still have caste barrier, especially in villages.
‘I don’t want to sit with him’ or ‘I don’t want to eat with him.’
This is completely absurd. Whatever caste or religion one is everyone should sit together and sing.
Dear Guruji, India has been driven by Gurus. Why doesn’t the Indian education system give importance to Gurus when it gives so much importance to religion and God?
Sri Sri: I also wonder about it.
The people who have made the syllabus have never seen a Guru or they have never been to a Gurukul. So they have formulated the text books with their own limited prejudice knowledge. I keep hearing there is a lot of prejudice in our text books which is unfortunate. So good educators are needed today and you can be one of them.