You know, at all cost, you should save your mind.
What happens is that you are in a happy mood, in a joyful mood, and somebody comes and tells you something in your ears which you don’t like.
They say, ‘So and so said this about you’, and they subtly criticize you saying, ‘What are you doing? This is no good’, and suddenly your whole mind starts revolving and you don’t feel good. You start getting very disturbed.
So how does all this happen? Somebody puts some negativity. This is very common.
You will find in your day to day life that people will come and put some negativity that makes your mind, your determination, shaky. Don’t let this happen.
You will find in your day
to day life that people will
come and put some
negativity that makes your
mind, your determination,
shaky. Don’t let this happen.
It is natural and common that people will put some negativity, but when you are deeply connected inside, when you have that intuition, you will just smile through them all. You will put a filter into your ears.
You know that is how the world is. You know that there are some pleasant and some unpleasant things. How we manage them and keep our direction, that is what is most important.
All the sadhana and the Yagnas that we did in these nine days, and all these celebrations help you come back to your original level of enthusiasm and energy. So, keep your heart strong and your mind sharp, and the vehicle of life will run very smoothly.
Leave the small things and think big. Think what can we do for society, for the country, for the world. In this way, you must have a big goal in life.
People usually ask for small little things.
People say, ‘Gurudev, send us a car, we are not getting a taxi.’
They keep asking for these little things. That is also okay. There is no harm in asking for such things, but think of something big.
That is why, in our Indian culture, for thousands of years, people have been saying, ‘Sukhi base sansaar sab dukhiya rahe na koye', (May everyone be happy, may nobody stay unhappy).
We say the same thing when we pray as well, ‘Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu’, (May the whole world be happy).
Not only this world, but those who reside in the subtle worlds as well, our ancestors, may they also be happy. This is what we hope for.
What is important is that you must remain contented.
You must keep evaluating yourself from time to time. Ask yourself, whether what I am doing is benefitting others or not.
Even if something brings pain in the short run, but in the long run it is beneficial to everyone then that is the right thing to do. This is the test.
Before doing any work, you must ask yourself, ‘Am I only focusing on the small things or am I thinking from a broad perspective?’ This is essential.
So, broadening your vision is essential. When the vision is narrow, that is when our decisions go wrong. But when we have a broad vision, a long-term vision, then an intuitive awareness starts developing in us.
Today is the day of Victory; the victory of good over evil. It is a good day to start thinking afresh.
Ask yourself, ’Okay, what do I want to do now?’
Have one goal for yourself and one goal for the world, and if both become the same then that is the best.
If it is not the same, then also it is okay, you can have both but see that they don’t conflict each other.
First is the vision for the society, for the world, for the people and then whatever is your desire, your wishes, will obviously get fulfilled. Isn’t that already happening? How many of you have this experience that whatever you ask for you get? (Many in the audience raise their hands).
What is important is that
you must remain contented.
You must keep evaluating
yourself from time to time.
Ask yourself, whether what
I am doing is benefiting
others or not.
This is how it is for a saadhak (seeker). It is said, 'Pratyavayo na vidyate', once you have found the path, then there are no obstacles on it. Then, whatever sankalpa (vow) you take, whatever you think, effortlessly starts happening.
This month that has passed, Ashwin Maas (month of Ashwin) is a very important month. Why? Because fifteen days were dedicated in the memory of our ancestors who passed away and the remaining fifteen days are spent worshiping the Gods and conversing with them. That is why it is a very important month, and till the full moon night the celebrations will continue.
But for us, every day is a celebration, isn’t it? There is celebration everywhere. Yet, this month is a little special.
Q: Gurudev, in this world, there are both Mahatmas (great souls) and there are Rakshashas(demons). Those who follow the Mahatmas become Sattvic. Then the Rakshashas try to suppress the Sattvic ones. At such times, what must be done? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is necessary for the good people to be united.
Society has deteriorated not because of a few bad people, but because of the silence of the good ones.
Those with good intentions keep quiet and don’t even go to vote.
They think, ‘Why should we be concerned, anyways we cannot do anything. Let us do our work and be happy’.
With such apathetic feelings they sit quiet. This is not right, you need to become active.
Inertness should not be considered a good quality.
If a person remains inactive, and does nothing and then he says, ‘I am a good person’, that goodness is of no use. If you are good and are compassionate, then do some work as well. Isn’t it?
That which you can set right, you should set it right, and that which you cannot correct, which is beyond your capacity, for that prayer is the best option.
That is why four things are very important in life: Bhakti, Mukti, Shakti and Yukti.
With Yukti (right tactic or skill), you can get your work done. Shakti (power) is also required in life. But only Yukti and Shakti will not work. Along with that you need Bhakti (faith) and Mukti (liberation) as well.
Do you know, when you feel a sense of freedom from within, that brings so much strength in you that whatever work you want to do will be accomplished effortlessly.
Good people should never think that they are weak. Where are you weak? You have such immense power, you must recognize it.
Remember what happened the day before yesterday?
Do you know why the elephant got so scared when she came here (Yagyashala)?
(Referring to Indrani (Ashram Elephant) who was brought to participate in the Chandi Homam)
She got scared because she saw herself on the screen, and she thought there was another elephant standing. She didn’t realize that it is her own reflection. So we had to put off that screen.
The same thing happens with us. We have lost our identity and don’t know who we are. Once we understand this, there will be no sorrow in life.
If a person remains inactive,
and does nothing and then
he says, ‘I am a good person’,
that goodness if of no use.
If you are good and are
compassionate, then do some
work as well.
That which you can set right,
you should set it right, and that
which you cannot correct,
which is beyond your capacity,
prayer is the best option.
Q: Gurudev, please tell us the significance of the 12 Jyotirlingas (literally meaning ‘pillar of light’, sacred shrines of Lord Shiva). Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See Jyoti (light) is within you, and where there is Jyoti, there is Shiva. Jyotirlinga is inside you. The twelve Jyotirlingas are in our body itself. Our body has twelve places (where the twelve Jyotirlingas are situated).
Now, in the olden days, the twelve Jyotirlingas were established in different places between Kedarnath to Rameswaram so that people would travel from the North to the South and from the South to the North.
This was a plan that was implemented by our ancestors to make India a unified nation. There was no other way to unite India. How else can you unite India? Every place has a different language, what is the connection between Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh?
They are like two different nations with different cultures, traditions, food, and clothing. Everything is different.
So, people were told to visit Rameshwaram, and then from there they were told to go on a pilgrimage to Kashi and bathe in the holy Ganges. After that they were told to bring back with them the holy water of the Ganges from Kashi to Rameshwaram and offer it to the Jyotirlingam there.
They made it a custom and that is how people from all parts of India got united. Otherwise it would have been divided into twenty four countries like Europe.
Our ancestors have accomplished this very important task of uniting various parts of India. That is why it is said that you must bring water from the river Ganga and offer it in Rameshwaram.
Q: Gurudev, when listening to knowledge, sometimes your mind thinks, 'Oh I have already listened to this before.'
How do you get into a state where you are always in that wonder and openness to receive knowledge again? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you feel you have heard this, then it is already there in the spirit, in the self. That is good.
Recognizing, absorbing and then becoming a part of it - these three stages will happen spontaneously.
Q: Gurudev, please tell us about the significance of the different armaments of Goddess Durga? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I’ll tell you in brief. In those days they didn’t have guns. In those days, they only had the Trishul (trident). If there would have been guns in those days then maybe an AK-47 would have been in the hands of Maa Durga (Mother Divine).
It is said that the Devatas asked the Mother Divine (Devi), 'Devi, why are you holding these armaments. With one sound of yours, you can burn all the demons to ashes.'
The Devatas then themselves gave the answer saying, 'You are so merciful that you want to purify even the demons with your armaments. You want to liberate them and that is why you are doing this.'
The message behind this is to say that action has its own value. Having the Sankalpa (determination) alone is not enough.
See, God has given us hands and legs so that we can do work.
Now why does Mother Divine have so many hands? That is to signify that even God does work, and not through just one hand but through a thousand hands and in a thousand ways.
Devi has a thousand ways to destroy demons. She can dispel evil even through a flower, like Gandhigiri. So that is why Devi holds a flower in her hand, to settle things through a flower. Then by blowing the conch (Shank) and imparting knowledge. If even that doesn’t work then she uses the Sudarshan Chakra.
So, she has more than one trick. This is to signify that to bring about changes in this world only a single tactic won’t work. You will have to find many ways.
Why does Mother Divine has
so many hands? That is
to signify that even God
does work, and not through
just one hand but through
a thousand hands and
in a thousand ways.
Same is the case with our relationships. We can’t be adamant in all situations. If you be adamant with your father all the time and hope for things to work then that it will not happen. Sometimes love, sometimes being adamant and sometimes anger works.
Same with children. Look at how parents use all different kind of tactics and behavior to bring up their child. Every time using a stick won’t work. Sometimes they have to get their things done through love as well.
So this is what has been said. There are many solutions to a problem and that is why Devi is adorned with so many armaments.
Q: Gurudev, please tell us the significance of Mother Divine in the form of Chinnamasta. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You may have seen Mother Divine holding her own severed head in her hand and you might have felt scared. Do you know what is the meaning of this depiction?
From morning till night we are stuck in our head. When the head is not there then there are no worries, no problems, and no fights. Then it is only the heart that works and from this heart springs the fountains of love, happiness, joy and simplicity.
All differences arise in the head, not from the heart. Differences of caste, creed, status, etc., all come from the head. Arrogance starts in the head, wrong acts start in the head, violence also starts in the head. No one has ever been violent from the heart, it all comes from the head.
So Chinnamasta means that Devi (Mother Divine) has cut the head from the body. When the head is removed, all that remains in the pure consciousness; the heart. And when only the heart remains then love, compassion and happiness blossom in life. The evil is destroyed. This is the symbolism behind Chinnamasta.
All these depictions are symbolic. There are secrets hidden behind these depictions. Such secrets must be discovered.