Gurudev, I want to be honest with my parents about my sexuality. Yet my fear of losing their love and support has been stopping me from being honest with them. Do I need to be compassionate and not burden my parents? Please guide me to a solution.
Sri Sri: You don’t have to label yourself as gay or a lesbian. You don’t need to put on a label. These are tendencies which come and go. You should label yourself as Divine light. This label is much better than putting a label about your sexuality because it may change.
Many people get married and after that they discover that they have different tendencies. And for many gay people, sometime later, even their preferences change. I have seen many gay people and lesbians getting married, settling in life and having kids. I have seen the other way also. So all possibilities are open. What is the need for you to right away label yourself? There are some who are bisexual.
What are you going to achieve by telling your parents? Is it going to make them any happier? When they are not going to be happy, what is the point in telling them about it? You think about it.
Honesty is one thing. First you should be honest to yourself. What is your state right now? Be honest with yourself. You don’t have to pretend and be what you are not, at the same time you don’t have to put a bomb where people cannot accept it. Tell them gradually. Prepare them.
You have to study the situation. How fragile are your parents? How unhappy are they already and how much more unhappy they will become by your saying that? Is it worth being that honest to them and making them miserable? You need to judge all these pros and cons.
Suppose your parents are forcing you to get married then you tell them, 'No, I have no interest in this, I have a different interest'. Otherwise why do you have tell them?
Be honest at such times, otherwise you will make another person's life (who you marry) miserable. If your mother is already very aged and is burdened with a lot of other things and you be honest just for your pride and tell her something, and she loses her night’s sleep and it affects her health, what is the point. What does it serve?
In the ancient system it has been beautifully said, 'Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam apriyam', speak the truth but speak the pleasant truth. Don’t speak unpleasant truth and don’t speak pleasant lies.
Something may be pleasant, but if it is a lie, don’t speak that. Don’t speak unpleasant truth or pleasant lies. This is the ancient path. The perfect balance.
So use your sense of discrimination and gently prepare them if you want to tell them, and if it’s going to serve some purpose.
Rise above the body consciousness. Know that you are light. You’re scintillating consciousness. Every cell of your body is awakened with consciousness, light, love and life. Focus on that.
Can you please tell us about Narayana. Who and what is Narayana?
Sri Sri: Narayana is not a person. Narayana is the consciousness which is present in the human nervous system. Narayana is made up of light; a body that is made up of light. When you become totally hollow and empty, you incorporate that light body within you, and that is Narayana. That is why when anyone sees a monk in India they say 'Namo Narayana', I adore the Narayana in you.
Now where is Narayana?
Narayana is in a king, because a king is the collective consciousness. He is not supposed to think about himself but he has to think about the entire country and all the people, and maintain them. So because of the love and compassion that a king has for his own people, he is elevated to the level of Narayana; the pure light.
Then it is said, Vaidya Narayana. A doctor is Narayana.
A doctor while treating his patient does not think of how much he is earning. His total concern is in the well-being of the person. Narayana is in every doctor, every doctor is Narayana.
Who else is Narayana? (Audience says: The husband)
Yes, if he’s totally committed to the family, and if he is there for his wife.
The wife has to consider him Narayana! He cannot proclaim himself to be Narayana. (Laughter) The husband maintains the whole family and he doesn’t want anything for himself. He wants for everybody. So he is a Narayana.
A saint is Narayana because a saint wants the welfare of everybody. A doctor is Narayana. A selfless king is a Narayana. Guru is Narayana. A teacher is Narayana. A guest who comes over is also Narayana because Narayana comes in many forms.
Anyone who helps you in need without any selfish motive is called Apath Narayana. A Narayana who comes in when there is a problem is Apath Narayana.
There is one more term called Daridra Narayana. One who doesn’t have anything, one who is poor, he is a Narayana without money (Lakshmi).
So when you do charity, see that he (the poor man) is Narayana and do charity, and don't see him as a worm out there and do charity. So do charity also with a sense of sacredness. See even the poorest and the less fortunate ones as Narayana.
So you can see Narayana in a miserable person, Narayana in a doctor, in a saint, in the head of the family and in a king. They are all Narayana. Everywhere is Narayana.
In the Narayana Upanishads it is very beautifully said, 'Narayana is in the front, at the back, on the sides, on top and at the bottom. Narayana is everywhere!' Narayana Parojyotih Atmanarayanah Parah
Narayana is the Brahman (divinity). Narayana is the atma (soul), the Self in you. Narayana is the light. This entire universe is existing in a milky ocean and that ocean is called Narayana.
How do we get rid of our mind after death?
Sri Sri: There is no way you can get rid of it. If you want to know how to get rid of the mind, it can happen only when you have a body. You can’t get rid of the mind afterwards.
Why is devotion a necessary part of enlightenment? Is there conflict between detachment and devotion?
Sri Sri: Devotion is the juice of life.
Why do you want to love anybody in the world? Imagine life without love. It is like being a robot. Devotion adds flavor and makes life richer.
When was the last time you felt sorrow or sadness and what was your experience with letting it go?
Sri Sri: Every time I see someone miserable, I feel it. I feel for them. They could have been much happier. For no reason they are miserable.
The recent tsunami in the Himalayas was a very tragic one. Our Art of Living volunteers are there and are working day and night. They are providing food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. The army and police appreciated our Art of Living volunteers. They said that we army people get tired but these volunteers, young boys and girls are working from morning till night. They are doing all this with a smile.
They were completely blown away! How can you do so much with a smile? So our volunteers also taught them meditation.