Did you think about the plans, about what we thought we should do? Did you get many ideas? This is taking responsibility. You should not say,' Guruji You did not tell me that ideas should be put in the basket, You only said that whoever comes, write their name'. No, not like that. You think for yourself; this work needs to be done and for that what you need to do. You think and do like that.
Doing with your own initiative is the best and having been told to do and then doing is mediocre. And even after having being told, not doing is the worst situation. So, today, you judge which category you fall into. The best is, ' I have to do it, I will do it 100%. I will think about it, how I can do it'. Owning that, owning it as your project, is the best.
Questions & Answers
Expand all Q&A
What is the significance of Garuda Purana after death?
Sri Sri: Garuda Purana is all about the life after death. How the soul goes, where, what and all that. There is only certain time when you are supposed to hear that, (the few days after the soul leaves the body) listen to it so you know where the departed soul goes and what happened to them. There are a lot of things in Garuda Purana.
Dear Guruji, what is Shodasha Samskara?
Sri Sri: Shodasha Samskara! Shodasha means 16. There are 16 Samskaras which make human life. In a man or a woman’s life, there are 16 ceremonies or rituals that would impact the life. So what are they? It starts from Garbhadhana, it starts with conception. There is a way to conceive, conception is the first one. There is a whole Samskara about conception - how a man and woman should get together, what time, when, to conceive a baby. This knowledge has been kept a secret. If you want a girl how to conceive, on which day conception should happen, if you want a boy…when etc.That is about conception - Garbhadhana Samskara. It is done with certain mantras and ceremonies. This is almost not in so much use. They usually do it on the wedding day itself - chant some of the mantras and finish as though the whole ritual is over.
And the fifth month there is a ceremony called Pumsavana and then eighth month, Seemanta - a ceremony is done on the eighth month. And the lady is given all that she wants, all her desires are fulfilled. Whatever she wants is gifted to her telling her you are bearing a new universe inside of you and making her happy. So these are three Samskaras - Garbhadhana, Pumsavana, Seemanta. The fourth Samskara is the naming ceremony. Before eleven days after the birth, the naming ceremony is done. The father, mother choose a name and they put a little honey into the tongue of the child and in the right ear they pronounce the name of the child. Naming ceremony is the fourth one. And then the first time to remove the hair, it happens between first and third year, Chaula. Chaula means removing the first hair. When they remove the hair then they also pierce the ears. You know ear lobe is where all the nerve endings are there so they pierce the ears. Scientifically the ear lobes seems to bring more awareness, more intelligence; Chaula.
Then between eighth and eleventh year they do Upanayana Samskara where the child is taken to the school first. From childhood to adolescence, before they go, they are told you have these responsibilities in your life to perform - this, this, this you have to do. And then The Gaythri Mantra is given to them. Brahma Upadesha means ‘You are that’, ‘Thou are that’, this upadesha is given. This is the next. After Upanayana, a person studies, goes to school and stays in the Gurukul with the teacher, the Guru. After he finishes his education, then there is Samaavartana. Samaavartana means finishing the education and getting into the work life and then wedding, marriage. Like that the samskaras go on till the death ceremony, the last ceremony, Antiyeshti Samskara. All these samskaras are part of life. Ancient people had mantras for all that.
What is the importance of Gayathri Mantra?
Sri Sri: Om is the essence of the whole creation. Om is the greatest mantra in which everything is there. And then Om expanded and became Gayathri. Gayathri mantra is the essence of the Vedas. It is said there is no mantra greater than Gayathri. Gayathri Mantra says,' let all my sins be gone and Divinity dawn in my consciousness. Let the Divine inspire, bring the intuition into me'. This is the short explanation, there is a long explanation for it but this is enough for now.
In majority of India, only the intellectuals know about Ashtavakra Geeta whereas everyone knows about Bhagwad Geeta. Why is it so?
Sri Sri: It is true. Ashtavakra Geeta is for ‘Post-graduates’! It is not as easy to understand. The knowledge was given to a King. To understand it requires time. One can begin with Bhagwad Geeta. In it, everyone can find something meaningful. Whereas Ashtavakra Geeta was given to a King, Bhagwad Geeta was given to a despondent youth. This is the difference. The common man in society is depressed and is not in awareness. Ashtavakra Geeta was given to King Janaka when he was prepared to dive more deeply into the knowledge of truth and illusion. Very few have that spirit of inquiry, like you all! don’t believe that anyone sitting here is sad, is there?
The audience responds enthusiastically, 'No'!!
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, no one in satsang can be depressed!
I said Bhagavad Gita was taught to a youth who was upset, who was sad, but Ashtavakra Gita was given to one who has a spirit of inquiry, who has a quest for truth. So it is a little high, it is a little different. So Bhagavad Gita caters to everybody throughout, even for the upset, or the one who is sad or miserable. To one who wants some meaning in life and to one who wants to gain something in life - for everybody it is there.
Guruji, what is the significance of the twelve Jyotirlings of lord Shiva? Is it necessary to visit them?
Sri Sri: These pilgrimages are intended to bring people together, and unite the country from Kashmir to Rameshvaram, from Kaamaakhya to Somnath. Shiva does not reside only in temples. He dwells in our hearts. Wherever you are, call out to Him and He will appear.