Most of what we convey to people is simply by our presence
February 26, 2012
(Satsang commenced with bhajans by a group of singers followed by an inspiring discourse by Poojya Swami Chidananda Saraswatiji.)
Poojya Swamiji has already spoken on what the mystery of life - the Art of Living is.
Swamiji is so simple, he changed his schedule to be here with us and bless everyone. Many thanks to you!
Okay, do you all participate in singing when the bhajans are going on? How many of you were not participating? How many of you were not singing along but just listening?
In satsang it does not matter if you sing well or not, just join with everyone and sing together, that is all! Someone asked me just yesterday at the Hindu college, ‘What is the essence behind doing keertan/bhajan? What is the purpose of ‘naam’ (mantra chanting)?’
I asked them, ‘If someone abuses you, is there any effect of it on your body?’
They said, ‘Yes, absolutely!’
What happens? The mind becomes heated, there is anxiety, something happens in the stomach. In the entire body something happens and negative energy is felt, isn’t it?
If there is so much power in an abuse that it can impact your body so deeply, do you think there is no power in the name of God?
There is a lot of power. The vibrations inside you change and get altered. That is why for a little while every day you must sit and do some chanting and sing some bhajans.
Then this becomes like a shield which stops negativity from coming anywhere near you; and a positive vibration spreads from you.
See, many times you meet someone and you feel that you should stay away from them. And with some other person, you feel like meeting them more frequently. Do you feel that way or not?
Many times, you wonder why someone feels repulsiveness towards you. Why do they dislike you? We are unable to understand this.
This is because of our vibrations. Most of what we convey to people is simply by our presence. Through speech whatever is conveyed is on the next level, but first the vibrations that are there in our presence influence others. Nowhere are we taught how to fix our vibrations.
Why do you go and sit with saints, or sit on the banks of river Ganga or river Yamuna? Why do you go to places that are sacred? We do all this to bring the positive vibrations inside us.
So now that you have come here, drop all your worries and take back completely positive vibrations from here!
We have to change our vibrations by doing Meditation, Pranayama and Kriya. By doing all these practices it happens.
In life, keep one goal for yourself and one goal for society, and both should move together. If you are only focused on a small goal for yourself, then grace does not flow in life in abundance. But when you start doing for everybody, then your job gets done easily. How many of you have experienced this, when you are doing seva your work gets done easily, without much effort and without any trouble? (Many in the audience raise their hands)
So, you have to keep a goal for yourself and society.
You need to think what you want in life. Then think what you can do for the society.
I keep talking about the four A’s:
The first is Agyan (ignorance) – we need to remove ignorance. There are different kinds of superstitions that people believe in because of lack of knowledge. We need to remove this. People should get the taste of meditation and do a little bit of spiritual practices.
The second is Anyaay (injustice). We need to stand against injustice and create a corruption-free and violence-free society. We must have a vision for a society where each one can walk without any fear.
Nowadays when you open the newspaper, every day there are stories of crime that has happened and in Delhi, the crime rate is very high!
Do you like Delhi like this? Would you like the coming generation being in fear and each person walking with a security guard next to him, do you want a Delhi like that? No!
We need a violence-free society and that is the birthright of every person. But such a society cannot be built by the government or anyone else. It is only when all us come together can such a society be built. For a stress-free and violence-free society, we need to stand against injustice and corruption.
Are you all ready? How many of you are ready?
We will raise our voice against corruption.
So many people told me, ‘Guruji, being in the line of spirituality, your job is only to teach meditation. Why are you talking about corruption?’ You should not say such a thing. What do you think, I should not talk about it?
I told them, whatever my conscience says I will follow that.
If I do not stand up against corruption then who will. The corrupt will not stand against corruption? So you need to stand against anyaay (injustice).
Third is Abhav (lack), standing up against the different types of lack; the lack of human values.
There is lack not only of food, clothing and shelter but also of human values and we all need to work to bring down this lack and spread a sense of belongingness.
When the Meri Delhi Meri Yamuna movement started here in Delhi three years ago, I remember at that time thousands of our youths from all over the city joined together and cleaned Delhi, and I congratulate all those youths.
Before commonwealth games took place, all the youths came out to the streets and cleaned Delhi in every area. They divided Delhi into 12 zones and in all zones work was done. If we keep initiating this kind of service activities we can remove the lack from this country.
Also, all of us should keep aside 5% or at least 3% of what we earn to be used for the betterment of society. Some are doing blood donation camps; some are giving tuitions to slum children. So much work is going on and so much more can happen if we all come together and do it.
If we keep two hours of two days in a month for service to society we can achieve so much. We can change the look of Delhi. Can we do it? Tell me!
I hear ‘yes’ but it is very feeble. (Audience say ‘Yes’ loudly)
Yes! Now I hear it.
We need to wipe out lack of hygiene. Cleanliness is essential from inside and outside and we have to continue doing it.
So you need to remember all these points.
Be contented! Do not walk around with a long face. Life is short and before you know it would have passed by you. In life, sometimes there is happiness, sometimes sadness; some achievements are there and some failures, but in the midst of all of this we need to keep smiling and move forward with courage and the attitude of service.
When you are happy do seva and when you feel miserable you should get the power to let go, to sacrifice. What can give you that power? A broad vision about yourself, your life and a broad vision about the universe – that can put you back on track. So we need to wake up!
When we are miserable, have the power, have the energy to let go. It is because we are holding on to something we are miserable. And when you are happy, don’t just jump up and down but engage yourself in some constructive service project or work. Any seva would sustain the happiness.
I often say, if you run behind fun, misery follows you. If you follow knowledge, then fun follows you.
So it is better that fun follow you than misery catching on to you, isn’t it?
So we all must take a vow to stand up against corruption and against crime. Crime and corruption and communalism are eating this country and it is so sad. I want to stand up against them and I want all of you to be with me now. Are you all with me? How many are with me?
We should stand up against crime, communalization, corruption, and bring compassion back into the society.
This country is known for its compassion, it’s broad mindedness, it is cosmic knowledge and we have forgotten our roots. So we need to get back to our roots.
Q: Guruji, sometimes even after putting all efforts, if we continuously fail and life becomes a burden what should be done? So should we carry on with the burden or end life?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should not end life but you should end the burden.
Surrender your burdens to your dear one, or to God, or to your Guru.
‘I have this burden, you take this. I do not want to do anything; I want to be relieved of it.’
So surrender all you problems and just relax.
This is what surrender is. It means giving all the problems which you are not able to handle to the Divine to take care of. This is the art of surrender.
Never commit suicide. Suicide is the most foolish thing a person can ever do. It is like you are shivering in the cold and you go out remove all your clothes. Will the cold become any less? No!
So never commit suicide.
If you find someone who is having such thoughts, send them to any Art of Living teacher. When they are made to do some pranayama and kriya they will become alright completely.
Q: Guruji, when we do Sudarshan Kriya are we increasing or decreasing our lifespan?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is the specialty of Kriya. By just breathing in different rhythms for some time, we can experience that peaceful state of Samadhi.
That is why when you learn the Kriya, you should learn it from a teacher because they know the precise timing of the big circles, medium circles and short circles. All these are counted according to time. So by practicing the Kriya your lifespan will increase.
Q: Guruji, it is said that we receive only as much as we deserve and only when time is right. If that is true then why should we make an effort to do anything?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, just keep doing you duty and be 100% in whatever you do.
See the past as destiny, future as free will and be happy in the present. This is the intelligent way to be.
You know what fools do? They keep regretting the past, thinking the past was free will. Then they think the future is all destined and so they don’t do anything about it, and in the present they are miserable.
So, you have two choices. Got it?
Q: Guruji, even though I try hard to make everyone happy even then there is unhappiness all around me. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: At least you be happy. Don’t lose you happiness even if others are not uplifted by your efforts.
See this world like a dream. Sometimes even in a wakeful state you need to see this world like a dream. Now you are looking at me, is it a dream or truth? Have you ever had this though in your mind?
This could be a dream!
So when you see all events and incidents in life as a dream, then there is a shift in the energy inside you and you feel so contented and strong. Then no matter what the event, you can smile through it. And with the help of devotion and sadhana (practices) this strength comes very naturally to you.
Q: Guruji, in our land women are worshiped, even then I don’t feel safe in Delhi. What to do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If we all form groups and work together we can remove the violence that we see today from the society and from the country.
Recently in the North East district we had a one day course for 360 people who were criminals, dacoits, drug peddlers, robbers, etc. And after the course, they all have spoken of how their lives have transformed and how much change they see in themselves. It is worth listening to their experiences. Many of them are now part of seva projects, and they have started a library of their own.
90% crime rate has come down in one district of the North East area and this transformation has brought so much hope.
If it can happen in North East, it can happen in the entire Delhi. Yes or no?
But for this we will all have to work together.
So many teachers came together and they spent time with these people. They taught them Kriya and taught them about life. Many were relived of the pain inside them and that is how the transformation happened.
No one is bad. If is only when one is hurt from the inside that they do bad things. When you apply balm to the wound then they become good!
Q: Guruji, I want to have faith but I doubts keep coming in my mind. How to overcome this?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know the nature of doubt? How many know the nature of doubt?
Doubt is always about something positive.
We doubt the honesty of a person, but we are never doubt the dishonesty of a person.
If someone tells you this person is dishonest, you believe it; but if someone tells you this person is very honest, that is when you doubt, is this person really very honest. Isn’t it?!
If someone asks you, ‘Are you happy?’ You will say, ‘I don’t know whether I am happy or not.’
But if you are depressed then you never doubt your depression.
Similarly, if someone tells you, ‘I love you so much’, you will say, ‘Really?’ But if someone says, ‘I am angry with you’, you won’t ask, ‘Really?’
So our doubts are always about the positive. We doubt our strengths but never doubt our weaknesses. That is why we doubt God.
In this world whatever you see is nothing and all that cannot be seen is everything!
All this is nothing and nothing is everything. Got it?!
Whatever is seen is all going to vanish one day. That which is not seen will never vanish. This is an experiential fact.
Do not accept this just because I telling you but experience it in your life.
Having this experience for a few moments even once in your life can bring enormous amount of peace and strength inside you.
Are you able to understand this?
Just wake up and see all of this is a dream. You need experience this state of consciousness where you recognize that this is all dream, and only you can do this. The Guru and the scriptures can only direct you, but you have to sit and think.
Q: Guruji when I did the basic course I got a house. When I did the advance course my business flourished. When I did DSN, I got married. Now I am about to do another advance course and I got the news that I am becoming a father. Still I have botherations. Why?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Your job is getting done and still you are having botherations. This is because you have the habit of thinking too much. So now think about the whole country.
Be bothered about the world, about where it is heading. Bother about the environment.
Q: What is the importance of a life partner? How to choose who to marry and what should one see in them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Look, I have no experience in this so I cannot advise you.
Go for someone who has experience, they can advises you. Probably they will advise you to stay where you are. (Laughing)
Anyway by changing the boat you are not going to learn how to row the boat. If you cannot row one boat, there is no guarantee you can row another boat, as simple as that.
Q: Guruji there are so many things which are wrong only for us, but right for the whole world. Should we do them?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, anything that inflicts pain to you and your family and people around you, in any manner, we should desist from doing it, we should not do it.
May be somewhere else, in some other country somebody may be doing it, but you have a social circumstance.
Like in Europe and America they drive on the right side of the road. You cannot say, ‘They drive on the right side so I am also going to drive on the right side here.’ If you do that you are going to cause a traffic jam all over. So you should follow the norms of your society, your environment, your family and your associates. Don’t you think so?
At the same time if there is any practice that is injurious, which is harmful and is being followed by people then you must stand up desist. That you should say no.
Q: Guruji, when our work gets done by your grace we feel grateful to you but when what we want does not happen then we become sad and miserable. Why is it like that?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That is why when you are miserable have the strength to let go. When your work gets done, be grateful and do some seva. Seva purifies our karma.
Charity purifies the money that you earn. At least three to four percent of what you earn should be given away in charity.
A spoonful of ghee purifies food.
There is a proverb in India, ’a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) on rice purifies the rice.’
You know why? This is because if you eat rice just like that it digests very fast and becomes sugar very quickly. Many people who eat rice like that, they become diabetics.
A cardiologist told me, anytime you take cereals you should have a little bit of fat with it. A spoon of ghee on top of it slows down the digestion. It becomes complex carbohydrates and helps to balance the sugar level in the body and that helps a healthy heart function.
That is why the ancient people had said this, ‘a spoon of ghee purifies the rice.’
Similarly, with music the emotions get purified. So everyone must sing, it does not matter if you are singing a movie song but sing. A little bit of singing purifies the emotions.
Then with knowledge the intellect gets purified. You need to have knowledge. What is knowledge? What we have been discussing here.
Then, meditation purifies the soul and Ayurveda purifies the body. When we take Triphala two or three times a week, the stomach gets cleaned and the mind becomes clear.
A saint used to say, warm feet, a soft stomach and a cool head, this is the sign of a healthy person.
But if it is opposite, feet are cold, stomach is hard and head is hot, it is a sign of unhealthiness.
For the stomach to be light and clean you need Ayurveda. You keep eating something or the other throughout the day and this has an effect on the body. So to cleanse the body, Ayurveda is essential.
Through yoga and pranayama also body gets cleansed.
Q: Guruji can we donate our organs after death or is it essential to offer them into the fire?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you can donate your organs. Nowhere in the scriptures has it been prohibited.