The more dispassionate you are, the more the power of Sankalpa comes to you
July 29, 2011
Q: Dear Guruji, when you say I am different from the body I understand that, but when you say I am different from the mind I do not understand that. How am I different from my mind? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, now are you your thoughts or the thoughts are yours? Mind means thoughts. Thoughts come and they go. So many thoughts come and so many thoughts go. Many you agree and many you disagree and those you agree, later on, you disagree with those same thoughts, isn’t it? You sit and write down all your thoughts. Later on, you will find, 'oh, am I the same person who is thinking all this?' You would wonder, correct? So, in that sense, you are different from your thoughts. Thoughts come and go but they come in you and go in you. Its like clouds in the sky. The sky cannot be clouds. But when there are so many thoughts, and it is so cloudy, you feel, 'oh sky means clouds'. But if you have had a taste of clear sky, a few moments of open sky, then you see, 'oh the sky is beyond the clouds, not just the clouds' and that is the beauty in the sadhana. In the very first Sudarshan Kriya, what happens? The very first time you experience few moments without anything. Just a few moments; that opened up your awareness through the clouds. You think the clouds are what the sky is, but you got a little hole, and you could see the blue sky beyond the grey clouds right? isn’t this your experience?
Now you turn back and see what were you before you did your first course, first meditation or Sudarshan Kriya? Who were you before that? Who are you now? How many of you feel you can’t relate to the person who was ten years ago? (Many raise their hands)
See, that very clearly shows you are not the thoughts. What you think as a person ten years ago is just a bundle of thoughts, the mind. But you got a little space, glimpses outside the mind into the no mind or the space that we are; and meditation is being that no mind. But sometimes clouds come and thoughts come and they go and skillfully between them you just stay centered.
Q: What is the significance of worship? Worshiping the idol, worshiping the nature and worshiping oneself, is it all the same? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, worshiping is just creating an environment for the mind to become like a flower. Your heart opens, your mind opens, and your whole consciousness opens. And worship is just an act. It doesn’t matter what you do. Its all just in the outer; the main thing is your inner feeling. That’s why Pooja is good but Manas Pooja is superior. Manas Pooja is mentally doing the Pooja. My heart is your throne; Ratnaih Kalpitamaasanam Hima-jalaih Snaanam Cha Divyaam… all this in mental prayer, everything is yours, this whole universe is yours. My heart is a flower, mind is a flower. And when you rest, when you penetrate into deep rest, what happens is your solar plexus also blossoms, becomes bigger. Solar plexus is called the mid-brain and what scientists found out is that the solar plexus is usually the size of a small gooseberry and it becomes as big as a mushroom or a plum in the yogis. Those who do yoga and meditation regularly, they found out that the solar plexus is bigger. From a small little peanut size or a little gooseberry to a bigger plum’s size it becomes. When the mid-brain or solar plexus becomes big there is more control over the autonomous nervous system. This is what yoga does. This is why they say Padmanabha; you know, there is a word Padmanabha. Padmanabha is what? He is resting, in Yoga Nidra. His Nabhi (naval) has become like a flower. Padma means lotus, like a flower. When your naval has blossomed like a flower, then what happens? You are a yogi and if you are a Padmanabha you become so creative. What comes out is the creator. It is just symbolic that from the naval a lotus came up and the creator came on that. There is an inner meaning. When you are doing Yoga Nidra or when you are doing meditation, when you go deep into the fourth state of consciousness, what happens is that your Nabhi (naval) becomes like a lotus, Padma, flower. You know, all the negative emotions are stored here in the stomach. That is why when you are in fear something happens in the stomach. Anxiety, something happens in the tummy, isn’t it? How many of you have experienced this? Whether it is fear, anxiety, negative feelings, greed, jealousy - something happens in the stomach. A sense of loss, all the traumas - something happens in the naval center. It shrinks, becomes small, it is not a Padmanabha. When the naval blossoms, only generosity, love, creativity - all these things come. So Padmanabha means one who is very creative. So inner Pooja is just offering, everything is yours; my mind is yours, my body is yours, my thoughts, emotions, the whole environment, everything is only one. See, you are saying, 'there is no me, there is no you, there is only one thing' and that is Pooja.
Aarthi means let the light of my life always go around the Divine and that I accept all the knowledge. I take it; I take the wisdom inside me.
Q: Dear Guruji, how to improve the power of Sankalpa? How to drop the Vasanas? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: By silence. The more dispassionate you are, the more the power of Sankalpa comes to you.
Dear Guruji, what to do when people start using knowledge points or start using your name to hide their lies or to get their work done?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
What can you do for that? I can’t teach them, you can’t teach them. You can only pity them. They will bear their own cross; they will bear their own Karma. With compassion, tell them, 'why do you do it, don’t do it'. If they don’t listen, then what do you do? You can’t agitate, you can’t go on a hunger strike! what will you do? Pray, bless them, pity them, disassociate with them and if you have the strength, then counter them. How you will counter - you think about it.
Q: Guruji, I doubt you so much still I love you so much. What do I do? I feel I am going against my religion, what do I do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Fine, sometimes I like chaat also. You know chaat? It has a little tamarind, its a little sweet and chilly and has all tastes - I don’t mind. You have a little doubt; I can make it bigger if you want. My job is not to clear your doubt but to give you more. You have to break through it; you have to work through your doubt. I can put a few more doubts into you.
Q: Who is God? Many people say that you are God. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, God is love and that love is everywhere, isn’t it? And wherever you see that, that is your God. See God in everything, in the birds, in the trees, in the flowers, in the sun, moon, the whole universe is filled with love. God is in our heart and that’s why you recognize that and see God is in everyone.
Q: Guruji, Ashtavakraji had said, ‘You are free at this very moment’. Then why do we need to do yoga, aasan, praanayam, gyan, Advanced course? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: : He said in the very first mantra, ‘Worship truth like Amrit (ambrosia)’ and Advanced course is the union with truth. The truth is, our breath is flowing, our body is functioning. Between these two there is something: the union with ‘I am nothing’. It is very important to be stress-free. We talk about this and that, all sorts of inconsequential stuff. We eat food day and night. We don’t want freedom from this. But we are ready to give up meditation. How come?
Kabir das sang: Why have you given up speaking the truth and Hari naam (chanting God’s name)? You did not give up anger, or telling lies, why did you give up speaking the truth? First give up anger, telling lies; then you can give up the Advanced course also.
Q: How to bring naturalness (sahajta) in daily life? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How did you bring un-naturalness(asahajta), first tell me this? You were born natural. Naturalness has been with us since birth. Where did this asahajta come in, observe this and give it up! We feel at ease only when others praise us, approve of our work. Why do you wait for others’ approval, give yourself a pat on the back. I know it is a little difficult to pat oneself on the back. That is why we have you do the third stage of pranayaam!! But do not break the rules of sahajta. It is important to follow the rules and norms of society.
Q: Some people say that bhatki yoga is more superior than all other yoga… (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you take one, everything else will come behind. If you draw one leg of this chair, will not all the others come along? See, Bhakti means love.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay now, you are both matter and spirit right? Are you only matter? No! You are matter and you are also spirit. Our body is matter, our mind, intellect, emotions, they are part of the spirit. So anything that nurtures the mind, that keeps you sane, that keep you intelligent, that keeps you good hearted, kind-hearted, loving, creative is all spiritual. That which uplifts the spirit is spirituality. What can uplift the spirit? Meditation, knowledge! Knowledge about what is true, what is not true; what is real, what is not real. And then service activities, sharing yourself with others, those who are in need. Contributing to the poor, having compassion, all this is part of spirit. And anything that uplifts the spirit is spirituality. So in spirituality, meditation is the first thing. 60% of spirituality is meditation, going in and cleansing your heart and mind and then 20% is service and then 20% is knowledge, wisdom and that makes spirituality. Is that not useful? This is very much essential for you to be a good human being. Spirituality is essential. It is because of spirituality that there is honesty, there is creativity, there is compassion, there is service to society, dynamism and most of all, energy. If people are getting depressed in the world today it is because of the lack of spirituality.
You know, there has been a study in Europe stating that the rate of suicide is high and depression is very high. 30% of Europe is suffering from depression. So some communists from this country went abroad and they convened with the World Health Organization and came up with a report that more than 30% of India is depressed. A recent report, 38%, I don’t know what specimen, and where they took! They went to some place in UP and they took some samples and they said this country is depressed. But you don’t find that! You see after the factory, the workers are dancing. They go home with a smile. You go to any slum, they have television and they are dancing. People are laughing in the slums, haven’t you see this? (Many say ‘YES’). You go to any slum in this country, irrespective of their religion, Hindu, Muslims, Christians, everybody gets together and they dance, they sing, they celebrate life. Some fool somewhere got this idea to declare India as depressed. He has no idea; depression is not there in this country. Bangladesh, you see depression is very low, they are much poorer than India. We need to reintroduce spirituality in the society. Only that can check the depression - depression and corruption, both.
Q: I have many brilliant ideas for doing seva, but I don’t know how to go about implementing them. Also because I am not good at team work, I don’t know how to ask for help from other people. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, don’t label yourself as,' I am not good at team work'. If you are not good at team work, then they will make you here. This is the opportunity for you. Accept people as they are and get into a team. Get into somebody’s team, whatever they may say, 'oh it is so sunny', when it is so cloudy, you say, 'yes okay!' It doesn’t matter what they think but what they do matters. You say,' okay, if it is sunny for you let it be sunny, come let’s sweep the floor, let’s take care of the plant, let’s keep the place clean. Let’s wash the dishes in the kitchen. How does it matter if it is rainy or it is sunny, you have to go and wash the dishes', you go and wash. So don’t sit and argue with people to see what you see, that they should also agree with you. We should agree to disagree - simple formula. You think God is blue, fine, for you he is blue, for me he is white. It is okay. He can be white, for another he is red, never mind, come, let’s all be together, dance together, eat together, do something together. This is very important. Team work is absolutely essential; we should go into such a team.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why not? Definitely, you get into some seva project and you will have some time to spend with me.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Here everything is a circle; everything is Gol Gol (round round), including time. There is nothing linear.
Q: (A member of the audience asked this question. It was inaudible.) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: We can never be separate from Eeshvar (God). Eeshvar is one who is always there with everyone, for everyone.