Q: Guruji, how can I free myself from thoughts, emotions and feelings and how can I get detached from all relationships? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why do you want to detach yourself from relationship? Because it gives you pain, isn’t it. Why does it give pain? Because you do not have a broad vision of life.
All relationships are for a few days, few months, few years, but life is much bigger, so instead of trying to detach yourself from relationships, what is best for you to do is expand your awareness.
Listen to more of Ashtavakra Gita knowledge, not just once, again and again, and keep your thoughts on the Brahman, on the infinity, on the great energy; everything is part of it, everybody is a manifestation of it. That is why that is called Brahmacharya.
‘Brahma’ means the infinity, ’Charya’ means moving into it – having your mind moving into the Divinity. Not focused on limited – that man said this, this lady said this, this is that, and all that little mindedness. Always trying to pick on others and then you get into craving and aversion, aversion and craving, and this goes on forever.
So expand your vision, be more in the spiritual knowledge, know that everybody, every human being is like a bubble in the water. How long do they stay?
Clouds in the sky, how long do they stay? Know that everything is temporary, ephemeral.
You worry about things that
are happening, ‘Oh! Why is
this happening? Why is this
person like that?’ You should
stop this. You should turn and see what you are doing because you have control on what you can do. You have no control on what is happening, by others or
in the situation.
Q: Guruji, I am confused, in Hare Krishna movement they say surrender to Krishna and the process will take you to the spiritual world. You say, ‘Surrender to me and let go of all your problems.’
So what is the process in Art of Living to get back to the spiritual world?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is it!
And Krishna also said, ‘Those who see me in everything and in everybody, and everybody in me are the most intelligent.’ Why did you forget that?!
And He also said, ‘I will keep coming in every age’, right!
Q: My husband speaks foul words when he gets angry and he gets angry easily at small things. Later on he forgets what he said and I keep on crying.
Secondly, he blames me that it is because of me that he gets angry. Please suggest what to do in this situation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, he says and forgets, isn’t it? He says all nasty things and forgets about it, so you also listen and forget. Instead of telling him, ‘Don’t say it, don’t say it’, and holding on to it in your heart, as and when he gets angry keep ear plugs on you and put it on immediately. May be you can keep two ear plugs in your earrings, the moment he says something, put it and smile.
People wear very big earrings, big rings, even birds can come and sit there, and so you also do something. It can become a fashion; you can set the trend – ear plugs hanging on earrings. You can ask a jeweler to design one such, with a nice color, and the moment he says something, quickly put them on. Let him say anything he wants to.
Or you can slowly slip away from there, move away. When he starts being angry, tell him you have to urgently go to the bathroom and go and lock yourself there for half an hour or one hour. Or go for a walk; find some tricks.
Once you know a person has this sort of a nature, no point in sitting and crying and making yourself miserable. That is how they are made, that is how their up-bringing is, yes!
Q: When there is a very big and beautiful maple tree in the backyard positioned in the north east, Vastu Shastra (science of architecture) teaches us that it is a bad influence on the people who live in that house. Is it okay to remove the tree or is there some other less violent remedy? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, if you find any such thing in the north east then the next remedy is to put a little Shiva Lingam on that tree.
You can put a little Shiva Lingam, or stick a small Ganesha statue on the tree then it is okay. That is one of the remedies in Vastu Shashtra. Or just write ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. You do not have to cut the tree. I too am not in favor of cutting a beautiful maple tree, no!
North east corner means the Divinity is there, so it should be a place of prayer, worship. You can put a yoga mat or a small bench where you can sit and meditate.
The place for meditation is north east and that is why they say that it is better if nothing is obstructing.
It is okay to have a temple in the north east. A temple is usually long with a big steeple high up. But don’t worry about it. Any little imperfection according to Vastu can be corrected by one simple thing – Om Namah Shivaya.
Q: There is one request Guruji, can we all please have Rudra Pooja with you tomorrow; Monday morning? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, we can sit together and listen to Rudra Pooja. We will do that.
Those who are doing Advance Course for the first time you may not understand, but it is just chanting of Sanskrit. You can sit and just listen to the chanting. It is like taking a shower of chants.
Q: Guruji, I keep holding onto the past, how great everything was. I know I have to let go, but I catch myself busy with the past. What to do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, what did you say? That was in the past, never mind. Now?!
Q: Guruji, in what way does seva help meditation? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, when you do seva, to whomsoever you do seva, that brings some positive energy, some merit to you. And it is the merit which allows you to go deep into meditation. If you are not able to go deep into meditation, it is because you are selfish, all the time only thinking about yourself.
But if you have done any seva, even a little bit, any service to the society, that brings more and more merit and the merit allows you to meditate deeper. One of the facts but not the only!
All relationships are for a
few days, few months, few
years, but life is much bigger.
So instead of trying to detach
yourself from relationships,
what is best for you to do is
expand your awareness.
Listen to more of Ashtavakra Gita knowledge, not just once,
again and again, and keep your
thoughts on the Brahman.
Q: Guruji, I have some difficulties applying the AOL principles and values at work. I understand them and can see how to apply them to my private life, but as soon as I go to work, I find it difficult to reconcile business values and The Art of Living philosophy. Can you give me some examples of how I can apply these principles? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Principles get applied spontaneously and naturally, you do not have to make an effort to apply any principles.
What principles? Accept people as they are – when it is already in the back of the mind you will start doing it automatically. So, none of The Art of Living principles are such that you have to force yourself to apply. Got it? Keep equanimity whether success or failure – that happens spontaneously. Haven’t you noticed? After doing pranayama, kriya and all, you feel so much better mentally, physically and emotionally. You feel stronger to handle situations. How many of you feel that way? (Many raise their hands) Look, almost everybody. Everyone feels better. So things get better like that.
I say, live in the present moment, and that also starts happening most spontaneously, right!
Q: Guruji, why at times do things appear to happen with a plan to disturb peace in oneself? And why do people behave irrationally in spite of our best efforts? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, do you always behave rationally? Ask yourself this question.
Do you behave irrationally? That is how everybody is. Everyone is nothing but a reflection of you, and you are nothing but a reflection of others. So if their behavior is immature they will need more time to mature. Have patience.
If they lack knowledge, give them knowledge. It is useless to sit and say, ‘Why others are like that?’
You worry about things that are happening, ‘Oh! Why is this happening? Why is this person like that?’ You should stop this. You should turn and see what you are doing because you have control on what you can do or what you are doing. You have no control on what is happening, by others or in the situation.
But we do things the other way around. You do not take notice of what you are doing, how you behaving, what your attitude is and what is happening inside you.
That which you have control on, you do not look at that but you try to control others. You try to control the situation and start blaming others, when you cannot do anything about it.
Did you get it? You have no control over the minds of others. And you try to control the minds of others. You can have a say on your own mind which you do not look at, at all. Isn’t it?
The world is unhappy because of this.
You know, if you stop trying to control what is happening and have a say on what you are doing then you become much stronger, effective, powerful, successful and happier. That is it.