People say that they are unable to see God but I say I can see nothing but God
January 18, 2012
Mahasatsang at Dhule, Maharashtra
What is the difference between paddy and flattened rice (poha)? Paddy is stiff and dry, whereas flattened rice is white, light and edible. What is the difference between rice and puffed rice (mudi)? Rice is stiff. It cannot be eaten straight. It needs to be soaked in water and cooked. When it becomes soft, it can be eaten. But puffed rice is hollow inside. It is edible. It has been cooked. In the same way, human life, through satsang, through seva (service), through a sense of belongingness, transforms from rice to puffed rice, and from paddy to flattened rice. This is divine grace. We blossom from within, become joyful - then life becomes worthwhile.
Otherwise, we cry for what we have, and for what we don't have. We keep crying. Some people cry that their marriage has not occurred. Some cry because of troubles with their marriage. Just be happy! Whatever you do, be happy. This is the message of dharma (religion).
Today, leaders of all religions are seated on the stage. They have come here to bless you all. The supreme saint of Vaarkari sect, Granthiji from the Gurudwara, and the Imam from the mosque have arrived.
This is India, a bouquet of all religions. We are all one. There is one light (noor). The colour of cows can be different, but the milk is of one colour. Milk is always white. Saints can be of different sects, but they have one view ('sab santan kaa ek mat'). What is that? Connect with God. And where is God? Not in the sky; God is in our hearts, within us. If you realize Him within, you will see only Him outside, everything becomes Him.
I often say, 'Log kehte hain, khuda nazar nahin aata, main kehta hoon khuda ke siva kuch nazar nahin aata' (People say that they are unable to see God; I say I can see nothing but God). Go and look in the eyes of each child, peer into the eyes of every old person, look into the eyes of the youth, within their restlessness, God dwells there, within everyone.
This is what Lord Krishna has said in the Bhagavad Gita, 'Yo maam pashyati sarvatra sarvam cha mayi pashyati, tasyaaham na pranashyaami sa cha me na pranashyati.' The person, who sees me everywhere and sees everything in me, will never perish; I am always with him and he is always with me.
My only objective in coming here is to remind you that God exists. He is not in some other place or someone who existed at a point in time - that is not the case. He is here, right now. God means the principle that is all pervading, omnipresent - that is God, and is in everyone, and is eternal. It is not as though He existed five thousand years or two thousand years ago, or existed at some point in time, but no longer exists. That is not so. He is present here and now, within us. This is all we need to remember.
If you ask, 'Guruji, what is the advantage of this?' To that I would say, 'What will you not gain?' Everything! Whatever we want, that work will get done spontaneously. There will be a sense of fulfillment; the body will remain healthy, there will be harmony in society, there will be peace, love, there will be an atmosphere of peace within the family, and whatever you desire will get done.
How many of you are finding that your work is getting done? This is a proven (siddha) knowledge. Since ages, people have spoken of how through meditation and pranayama, you can awaken the power within. Once this energy is aroused, a link will be established (with the Divine).
See, for a cell phone to work, three things are needed: a SIM card, a charged battery and network must remain within range. If the phone has a SIM card, but no charge in the battery, what will be the use? It will not work. Nowadays, everyone uses a cell phone, so they all understand the language of the cell phone. In the same way, the faith in our lives is the 'range', the spiritual practices (sadhana) that we do is the 'charge', and seva does the job of the SIM card. We need to remember that all the three are needed in our lives.
'No one is an outsider. All belong to me, are my very own.' This feeling, this attitude is satsang. Satsang does not mean just singing bhajans and then leaving. It means the company of truth. What is the truth? No one is an outsider. Someone may be a Sikh, Christian, Hindu or Muslim - all living beings; all humans belong to that one Divine. The Vedas expounded this- 'Sakala veda pratipaadya aatma rupam' - within me He lies hidden. Recognize that power. Then there will be a smile on the face that cannot be erased. Isn't this what we want in life - a smile that can never be erased, a love that can never diminish, a life that can never be broken. It never breaks, but it appears as though it got broken.
Life is an eternal stream. We have been coming here since ages. You have come here many times, and so have I. We have all come to this planet several times. It is just that you forgot. That is why you remain so troubled. However, as you start doing sadhana, meditation, pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya, a new light becomes visible. One exclaims, 'Wow! I was needlessly upset; for no rhyme or reason.' This wisdom should awaken. Do you feel this way? How many of you feel as though your life has changed? And when we change, we are capable of inspiring others.
It seems there are a lot of flowers in Dhule (the place where the satsang was organized)! Such huge garlands for everyone! However, I want blossomed flowers like you, flowers that never wilt!
Thirty years have passed since I took on this campaign. In one hundred fifty two countries, people are engaged in satsang, sadhana and devotion. But this is not enough. There is a long way to go. We have to bring about a lot of improvements in this country.
All of you can imagine how in the twelfth century, there were so many saints in every region, who set out on the streets singing bhajans and kirtans. In the eighteenth century an Englishman wrote, ‘I travelled across India, but I could not find a single beggar, pauper or uneducated person’. Such a prosperous country this was. But in the last two to three hundred years, look where have we fallen to, what state have we come to. They say the English took nine hundred shiploads of gold away. They got exhausted of plundering. So much wealth was here, such a prosperous nation ours used to be, when our country had attained spiritual heights.
Someone asked me recently, 'Guruji, in spite of so much spirituality, why is there poverty in our country?' When spirituality was at its peak, there was no poverty. Corruption did not exist. Where was it, in the twelfth century, in the sixteenth century, when there were so many saints in the country, and such a wave of spirituality had arisen?
In Karnataka, Purandhara Dasa, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Kanaka Dasa sang so many songs about Pandurang Vitthala. Here, in Maharashtra, there were saints like Nam dev, Sant Tukaramji, Dhyandevji Maharaj. Where was poverty in Maharashtra? In North India, we had Kabir, Meera, Guru Nanak Dev, and so many Sufi saints. There was one saint, Shishunala Sharif who came from Kabul, Afghanistan to Karnataka, and became a disciple of Govindacharya. His songs are famous to this day. Similarly, in Punjab there was Bulleh Shah who composed so many poems and Sufi songs.
When spirituality prospered in this country, there was neither poverty, nor sickness, nor corruption. Today we have lost everything. Corruption has escalated so much that people are distressed. In the process we have lost our spirituality also. In the name of dharma, people perform some ritual or ceremony, just for the sake of it. This should not be the case. Humanity should be awakened, and awakening humanity is what I call Spirituality.
So, today we will take a pledge that we will neither give bribe nor accept bribe. This is extremely important. We will help in ensuring hundred percent voting. Whenever there is an election, we will vote, and for those who haven’t, we will ensure that they give their vote. Everyone must vote. Third, we will direct our attention to cleanliness - within ourselves and in society.
If life is the rice, only after it is boiled in the water of kirtan, bhajan, and love does it become edible. Or if it is subjected to the heat of satsang and knowledge, the same rice turns into mudi (puffed rice), puffs up and becomes edible. In the same way, through satsang, knowledge and meditation, let us all blossom. And it is not enough that we alone blossom. It should reach out to others also. We need to do this seva.
Now tell me, how many of you have pain in the body: headache, pain in the legs, lower back or upper back? Do you know why? It is because we add urea and different kinds of chemicals that contaminate the ground and the water. When we eat food grown in such soil, we get back ache, headache, and pain from head to toe and the heart becomes hard-hearted! The whole body has pains and the heart becomes heartless. That is why we should do organic farming, meaning chemical-free cultivation. We need to protect the water and the ground from poisonous substances.
We should use Ayurveda. It is an ancient tradition of our country, and we have forgotten it as well. We need to employ Ayurvedic medicines. In Ayurveda, there are treatments that can heal diseases that cannot be treated by Allopathic medicines. For instance, there is Sandhi Vaata vati for healing joint pains and body ache. If we take Triphala for two to three times a week, the stomach gets cleansed. When the stomach is clean, diseases also begin to get healed.
We tend to eat in an untimely fashion. Whenever we get anything, we stuff it into our stomachs, and then fall sick. So, the body gets cleansed through Ayurveda and yogasana. Through Pranayama, the mind, the prana gets purified, stabilized and becomes quiver free. And in the chitta (memory), amal (impractical), avaran (delusion) and vikshep (confusion/ vacillation) will be dispelled. Through kirtan and bhajan, the mind and the feelings get purified. Through knowledge, the intellect gets purified. One should sit and listen to some knowledge: 'what is life? Who am I? What do I need?' When we ponder in this way, the intellect gets purified. For purification of the intellect there is pranayama. For purification of the Self, one should meditate.
Just as food is nourishment for the body, for the soul, consider meditation to be the nourishment. Sit for short periods of time and become quiet; you will get an amazing self-confidence!
Wealth is purified through charity. If we spend hundred percent of what we earn on ourselves, that is not right. We should utilize two, three, five or up to ten percent of our income for society, and for others.
A small amount of ghee (Clarified butter) purifies food. They say, if you eat rice or roti (flat round bread) as it is, being simple carbohydrates, the prospect of it turning into sugar very quickly is higher. Doctors say that if half a spoon, or even a drop of ghee is added, on account of the ghee, digestion is slowed down and diabetes or heart trouble do not develop. Some of the prominent cardiologists have the opinion that a little bit of fat or ghee should be taken; just a little, not too much, a half teaspoon or even less should definitely be taken; some greasy material.
There is a tradition in our society: the pandits (scholars) and purohits (priests) used to say, Anna Shuddhi (purification of food), where a small amount of ghee was poured over the food, just a drop. Those who cook food can add just half a teaspoon of ghee to it while cooking.
Seva purifies the Karma. It is important for everyone to do seva. Maintain cleanliness within your home and in the city. In Dhule, wherever there is garbage lying, all the persons of that colony should gather and spend two hours on a Sunday morning from nine to eleven. Everyone should clean the streets. Wherever there is trash in the drains, get together and clean the dirty drains. You will see how the city will sparkle.
Plant trees. On my way, I saw a lot of dryness in various places. If this kind of aridity continues, the water table will keep dropping. Is there a shortage of water here? If we need to bring more water, we will have to work for it. Pray. Prayer also has an impact on the water. The call of your heart will be heard. Along with prayer, you have to do your duty. Plant trees and implement rainwater-harvesting techniques - to collect rainwater somewhere. If we do something or other in each home, a huge difference will be made.
If there is any anxiety in the mind, any botheration, give it to me. You give it all to me. This is what I want, that you all spend your life focusing on God, smiling and ever joyful. The more I get to see that commitment, love and devotion on your faces, the more happiness I get; that is all I want. Each person should be so blossomed; the meaning of 'Bharat' itself is where such extraordinary, beautiful people live.
Makar Sankranti has just been celebrated. Til gud gya ani gode gode bola. The message of Makar Sankranti is that we should consider ourselves insignificant like the sesame seed. Do not consider yourself a very important person. Consider yourself like the sesame seed. Look at the sesame seed - it is black on the outside and white inside. Nowadays, it is the reverse. People are black from inside, but look fair on the outside. Not that! We need purity inside too, purity within. We are insignificant like the sesame seed, and sweet as jaggery (gud). Do not forget this message. So what are we? We are the sesame seed as well as the jaggery.
I want that in every village of this country, a wave of spirituality should arise. In every village, satsang should happen, people should do kirtan, bhajan and meditation. A wonderful atmosphere will spread. So, all of you take this pledge - people in groups of ten should go from village to village and do kirtan there, have them do meditation, and transform the atmosphere there.
How many youth here are ready to devote six months to a year to the building of an ideal, divine society (Aadarsh Divya Samaj Nirmaan)? I just need youth, whether in the mind or in the body - youthful in the mind means one who has enthusiasm despite age. Those youthful in the mind will also do. We will come up with a program where we go from village to village and remove alcohol and addiction, and inspire them to live together in harmony.
Nowadays, one has to give bribe just to obtain a certificate. If there is truth and honesty within us, and we decide not to pay bribe, all government officers and others will have to submit to us. After all, there is a little bit of humanity in them also. Don't think that they are like animals. Inside everyone there is goodness hidden somewhere. We only have to bring it forth.
Truly, all of you are washed in milk (doodh ke dhule) i.e. you are pure. This is such a beautiful expression, but is used to taunt someone. When the black sesame seed is washed, it turns white. In the same way, our mistakes and sins are extraneous; wash them away with pranayama, meditation, seva and noble thoughts. Just wash them away thoroughly.
Q: I want to do seva, but how to begin? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just register your name at the counter, and we will get you involved. One of the Yuvacharyas will get you involved in seva. Keep yourself involved with a teacher.
Q: Guruji, I have a Guru from before. Can I get a mantra from you? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, if you are following another Guru, there is no problem. Just think that you have come to the satsang with his blessings. See all in one, and one in all.
Q: Guruji, will corruption be eradicated by the Lokpal Bill, or do we have to do something else for it? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Lokpal Bill is like the treatment of the disease, after it has manifested. I do not believe that just a law will stop all corruption. However, that law is necessary, absolutely necessary! They say, 'Bhaya bin preet hoi na gopa.' So if there is fear, corruption will be stopped. However, just fear will not work. People will become used to that as well. A spiritual awakening should occur; a wave should arise in society. Only then corruption will be removed. Corruption begins where belongingness ends. Therefore, if we create a friendly atmosphere, that will be conducive. Also, good people must be elected. Good individuals should enter politics. This is necessary.
Q: Guruji, when will you come to Sonegarh? A lot of conversions are happening there. What should we do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, there should be no religious conscription (matantar). It is not good for the country. No one should leave one's religion. Ours is an ancient religion. It is so tolerant. It embraces everyone. Accept all knowledge. Why do you renounce your religion?
Whatever messages of God have been said in other religions has already been said in our religion. Krishna also said, 'I will free you of all sins. You take refuge in me. I will set you free from all sins.' So, have faith in everyone. But deserting one's religion and subscribing to a different faith is not appropriate. This is disrespect to your ancestors. Your grandparents, great grand parents, your parents. Were they all stupid? Was the civilization of this nation not right?
Whenever we abandon our ideology and adopt another, we assume that our ideology is not right. Without condemning an ideology, you will not be able to reject it. Therefore, it is not okay. Do not criticize your religion and do not reject it.
Those who have left (the religion), tell them to come back. The essence of all religions is love. Walk the path of love, and do not disrespect anyone; do not speak poorly of anyone.
One should not say, 'Only my religion is superior, the other is wrong'. If anyone speaks like this, you just smile and move ahead. Just don't listen.
Q: Guruji, what is the difference between Krishna asking Arjuna to fight for dharma and Osama asking jihadists to fight for dharma? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A terrorist is a coward. He doesn't come in the front and fight. A coward hides and destroys.
No, Bhagwad Gita never talks about terrorism. It says, 'Do your duty.' If there is a policeman, he has to do his duty. If he says, 'I don't want to do policing. I will sell bananas or I will sell vegetables. I will not hold a gun or a cane', then what will any intelligent person say?
'Do your work. If you are a policeman, do the work of a policeman.'
This is what Lord Krishna said to Arjuna, 'Perform your duty. Protect your subjects.'
He did not say, 'Go and kill unarmed people.' Never! This is wrong, and even thinking this way is wrong! That is the reason we call terrorism cowardice. There is no courage in this act.
But, to fight in a war is bravery.
You can't say, 'All the soldiers in the world are terrorists.' Army personnel and police are not terrorists. They maintain law and order. They need to do this, and Lord Krishna only says, 'You have to keep your dharma.'
Osama Bin Laden didn't say that. He said, 'Those who do not belong to my religion, kill them.' And how? - By hiding. He never came forward to fight. He stayed in hiding in Pakistan.
Cowards cannot be seen as brave soldiers. In fact, they are just the opposite.
So, Gita teaches you bravery, not cowardice.
Q: Guruji, sometimes while doing something, we know it is wrong, yet we do it. So how should one control it? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The main thing is that one feels that one is getting some pleasure out of it. The temptation or desire for pleasure is lurking there; only then a wrong action happens.
Q: Guruji, these days keeping the family small is recommended. Is this not destroying the extended family structure of maternal and paternal relationships, such as aunts and uncles? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No! The family should be united. It need not be small. There was a time when people thought population is a curse to our nation. Now they think differently. Population is a boon to our country. Do not think it is a curse.
If Brazil, China and India are strong today, the reason is our population, and nothing else except population. This has become the biggest market in the world. If the population had been less, we would have been wrestling with scams even more, and there would have been no talk of progress.
This does not mean I am advocating that population should be increased further. I am not saying that we should increase the population more, but do not consider it a curse. It can be a boon for us.
Q: Guruji, it is said, slow and steady wins the race, but doesn't feel as an appropriate lesson in today's world. What should be today's version? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be steady inside and run fast. Instead, if you are slow in walking and unsteady inside, it is no good. Be steady inside, and run fast outside. In fact, people do the other way around. They move very slowly outside, but they think too fast. Inside, they are restless and they are running, and they become sick.
Q: Guruji, please suggest some easy way to acquire wealth (Laxmi). Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Hard work and confidence. Self-confidence, sankalpa and diligence should go together.
Q: How to balance between practical life and dreams? From dreams there is a desire to get more, while practical life makes us realistic. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, there should be a harmony between dreams and practical life.
You might have seen the event Taalninaad that happened in Solapur yesterday. Earlier, people used to say that it would be very difficult for three thousand people to play (tabla) together. They said that the rhythm would not set. But the rhythm was set; for the very first time, a world record was set - three thousand people together! We should make the impossible possible. I would say that I have grown into the habit of making the impossible, possible.
So, definitely have dreams, big dreams, and along with it, keep working; at the same time maintain dispassion in the mind. Dispassion means that everything belongs to God, God's will; I don't want anything. Then you will earn glory for your karma.
Q: Just recently, I heard that in Pandarpur, one of our yuvacharyas (Art of Living youth program teacher) gave a blessing to someone who was paralyzed. That person recovered! Can we also give blessing in this manner? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes! If you also meditate, go deep in meditation, become a devotee, then your blessings will also work. The more fulfilled we are, the more effective our blessings will be.
All of you who are sitting here today, and will be meditating in a little while, ask for the fulfillment of one desire. You will get it. Just watch.
There is a couplet by Tulsidas, 'Jo ichchha kariho man maahi, prabhu pratap kachhu durlabh naahin.'
When we become devotees - we can't become, we already are, stay with this belief. Being devotees of God, our desire will be fulfilled.
Q: Q: Guruji, should one marry a pretty girl or an intelligent girl? Out of the two, whom should I choose? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay, why did you assume this? Do beauty and intelligence not go hand in hand? Is there only one of the two? If that were the case, I would say, intelligent is better. Beauty comes and goes, but intelligence stays. But don't think both cannot be together. You might be able to get both together.