Everyone to give at least 3% of their earning for social projects; we must share
August 09, 2011
We need to know from everyone. Perception has to be multi-direction. One-sided vision will not have so from various angles when we see a situation we become richer in our understanding. Why not we do an exercise?! Can we just turn to the person next to us and greet them, say, ‘I belong to you’. Can we do that now?
Now I would like to ask you a question! When you exchange these pleasantries, were you really from the heart exchanging those words or it was just from your lips? You don’t need to tell people next to you, I just want you to reflect on that.
You know when you get off the airplane the air hostess greets you saying, ‘have a nice day!’ they don’t mean it. And when these words come from someone close to you it carries certain energy, certain love, certain vibration. You will notice this and this is what is needed today! We need to create a field of love and energy that can uplift the humanity! We don’t need a disaster to happen for that. When disaster happens this definitely happens. Haven’t we seen this here in Oslo? After this disaster what happened? Everyone came on the streets, everyone walked with a rose, exposed their true feelings. It’s not just a courtesy, but it is the feeling that came out from that event. It was not an empty word or showing ones sympathy but genuine sympathy and a genuine sense of sharing.
Every human is bestowed with this quality. As a child we were all born with this love in our heart and as we grew up somewhere this expression got blocked. I am saying got blocked because it’s not just the society which makes your expression blocked or not just you, it is everything together. A part of it is from the society and a portion of it is from our own ignorance. So what can we do to enhance this sense of belongingness? This is what we need to ponder on. We don’t need any more disasters in this world. When it happens so far away we just read about it in the newspaper and sit back. When it happened in Mumbai, Cairo; in Pakistan everyday there is some bomb blast, forty fifty people are getting killed. But when it happens in our own backyard it just shakes us. Thanks to the media and Internet that we all are able to know what’s happening in many part of the world and really participate in it.
It is time now that we encourage our youths, our children, to see beyond their own identity. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, doesn’t matter! See beyond your identity, you are a beautiful beautiful human being. This awareness we need to bring to our youths. Don’t you agree with me? How many of you agree with me?
You know recently we held this WORLD CULTURAL FESTIVAL on July 2nd and 3rd. People from 150 countries assembled in Berlin. It was the coldest summer ever. It was raining but it didn’t matter to people because they came with the spirit of celebration. And I say it is possible to make our life a celebration when we have this understanding and when we have an expression that others can understand. You know many times we express ourselves and we don’t realize whether the other person is understanding us or not. Caring for each other, sharing with each other and celebrating the ‘presence’ is the goal of our life. A decade ago if someone would come and speak on love people would say, ‘this is not the normal stuff, it’s a poetic language. It’s okay but it is not the business language, it is not what the society wants to hear or talk about; it’s a private matter.’
Love was considered as a private matter only between husband and wife. It was always connected with a relationship or lack of it. But today in public we are speaking on that and in the moments of disaster people are coming out and speaking on love. This shows the advancement in our own society here in the country. I think this is the language that the world should speak now! From Norway this message has gone throughout the world. Even during disaster we talk about love and that’s what is needed today. Not ‘tit for tat’, but healing with love; healing with wisdom.
Even if a small percentage of youngsters in this planet are left to thinking the others is a threat, the world is not a safe place. So for the world to be a safe place to be in what do we need to do? We need to bring a multi-religious, multi-culture education to all our youths all over the world.
You know when we were growing up; when I was growing up, non-violence was the pride. In our classrooms if someone gets upset or becomes a little aggressive he would be looked down upon. Because my teachers were all with Mahatma Gandhi and it was still very fresh in India at that time the movement for non-violence had so much respect. So anyone who would loose the equanimity was considered as not mature enough. Slowly, now what has happened that pride has got itself attached to aggression and violence. Now the hero in the classroom is the one who is very aggressive, not the one who is very non-violent. This shift has happened in the last few years. We need to turn the cycle back again, the clock back again to where we honor non-violence and appreciate compassion. Don’t you think so? So this is what we need to do.
When the youth grow up with the values of non-violence, compassion, service, sense of belongingness and honoring of each other, it would be a wonderful place to be in. The world will turn to be One Family and this is the dream with which we started Art of Living to see that the world realizes that we are all one human family. Different languages, different cultures, different races, different religions, faith groups but we are still one family.
See life from a broader perspective. Sixty, seventy, eighty years of our life on this planet, there is not enough time to express our love where is the time to hate? This perspective has to become a reality in ones’ life. For that we need an education that is multi-religious, multi-cultural for our youngsters; and more celebration in life.
This is what we need, vibrancy! We are one human family now with so many different cultures, traditions, backgrounds, but we all belong to each other, yes! Inner peace is essential you know every child should be educated in inner peace and should learn how to get rid of stress and stress and wrong understating. Again I would say, inside every culprit there is a victim crying for help. We need to help the victim. Help the culprit and heal the victim. This we can do through meditation.
Meditation is the journey inside where your mind becomes calm and happy, free from all stress and you feel that energy that you have been looking for all the time.
Meditation has got 3 golden rules to be followed. The first rule for meditation is for next 10 minutes I want nothing. Can we say that for next 10 minutes I want nothing? Okay, then you can want whatever you want. You can keep your wants, you can keep your desires, but just for ten minutes you have to say I want nothing for the next ten minutes. Is that possible? And the second golden rule for meditation is that I do nothing for next 10 minutes. Meditation is not an effort it is an effortless thing; we let go, relax and do nothing. And the third rule is I am nothing.
If I think I am very intelligent I can’t meditate. If I think I am very stupid then also no meditation for me. If I label myself I am very rich no way can I meditate. If I think I am very poor then also no. If I think I am very holy forget about it you are not meditating. If I think I am unholy and I am the greatest sinner no way you can meditate. So the third rule is even more important, I am nothing. I want nothing, I do nothing, I am nothing.
These are the 3 golden principles with which you can go to the source of the mind, the source of our energy, our consciousness that we are.
Questions & Answers
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I think it’s really amazing and it touches me that you have chosen to come and sit with us. Time has been very difficult in our life and my question is that when you wake up one day and you see that society has changed in a bitter way, in a way that you never expected, what is the best way to continue that day?
Sri Sri: You know in society there are all different types of people. We should not label society, as this is what it is, right! So now you saw the demonstration of love was so obvious. Not that it was not there but before it was there underneath. So we cannot label a society good or bad or not good, we simply see what we can do to better our environment. How we can contribute rather than expecting what others will do to us. I feel that this is a good attitude to begin with, okay?
You know when I heard about the disaster here, I said I must come to Oslo, so just within a weeks time I cancelled my other programs as I was booked this week. I said I must go somehow, though it is a short trip.
And in a week’s time it was good that all of us could come together and meditate. Even these 20 minutes that we meditated you know how much positive vibration we have created here. It’s really commendable.
Thank you His Holiness for being here. Even we are surrounded by sorrow and greed. Here you are a small sparkling light come to heal us. I have two questions for you. Firstly what can we learn from an episode like this and how can we go further on?
Secondly, this inner science of meditation has become very popular and the neuro- science of meditation is growing and definitely it is penetrating in this so-called materially richer part of world. For example in U S more than 7% of the population is meditating today according to recent statistics. Other regions are peaceful so it will penetrate slowly I believe. My question to you is that what I am worried for is that in the gap between the rich and the poor is quickly growing in so-called developing parts of the world. How we can bring wisdom to the institutions in these countries?
Sri Sri: Yes, it’s a big question! How can we bring wisdom when there is rich and poor gap? You know there is not one solution, there could be many. So, we need to keep this question alive. From time to time we will get different ideas and we need to implement them, which we feel is best.
First of all those who have should come up with this mind or attitude to serve, to share. I would expect everyone to give at least 3% of their earning for social projects or for social causes; we must share.
Then for the poor people they should learn how to be entrepreneurs, they should stand on their feet, not expecting others to take care of them all the time but rather become innovative, hard working and try to stand on their own feet.
Third is in these situations, these moments what is needed is inner strength, inner peace. So as many people as possible should learn to meditate; don’t you think so? How many of you agree with me raise your hands? This is the time we will have to teach everyone, otherwise anger can come up, frustration can come up, fear can come up. All these negative emotions come up within us when we see an unpleasant event. So to combat this unpleasantness we have to equip our self and the equipment is meditation and breathing techniques. So I have sent all my teachers here to go out and do trauma relief and meditation workshops throughout Norway. Whenever people would like to come and sit for a couple of hours for 2 to 3 days, teach them some breathing techniques, some meditation and then help them gets back on track. This is exactly what we did in New York after 9/11 and so thousands of people learnt to meditate. So we would like to do the same thing here.
It is an honor to be able to ask you a question. Is it possible to create a just work within the monetary system that we have today with a profit motive?
Sri Sri: My answer would be yes! It is possible to have ethics and business together. It is possible to have compassion and convenience together.
It has been a great experience to be here today. People meet without love, because a situation calls for it. At that time you lose the human factor as you can’t speak about real things as there is no real communication. People who see me meditating feel I am too religious. So my question is how to deal with this prejudice and how to engage people and keep up the spirit of love and communication?
Sri Sri: Yes! You know twenty years ago there was so much more prejudice. And thirty years ago when I started Art of Living there was even more prejudice. People thought meditation, this must be somebody crazy. Someone who is not proper in their mind only will do it; it was not for normal people. Yoga means standing on their nail, it is not for normal people, this was the idea. Today if you see the advertisements of Daimler Chrysler or many of those top business advertisements, you will find relaxation; people sitting in lotus posture, in yoga postures. HSBC banks you will see relaxation, they will show meditation, yoga. So today the language has changed and the prejudice has gone down a great deal. It’s not the same as before.
Then you know, there are some people who would resist anything that are different. So we need to keep communicating. I didn’t leave spreading or traveling what I have been doing all these thirty years, otherwise I should have left it long back. I would have said why should I go if there is prejudice and sit back in your own place where there is so much work to do, no! We have to continue doing our work.
Now, how do we keep that inner Norwegian spirit of love that we all experienced now? Continue having celebrations and continuing to have multi- cultural events more often. And then keep talking to people; communicate with people.
That is why I say you don’t need disaster to unite us. Anyways in disasters we unite but even in pleasant times also we can unite and that is what I call celebration; dialogue. So we should continue having this! I am all for it, okay.
It is very good to be here in your presence. I have two questions for you. Because there are lots of disasters happening around the world every day, what made you feel this urge to come to Norway? Second question is, what do you think Norway can contribute with this experience and what kind of effect does this experience have on the world?
Sri Sri: You know I have been saying the world is my family from a very young age. I don’t remember what age, maybe at eight or nine or ten, I have been saying the whole world is my family. So when any disaster happens in some part of my family it is my duty to go and do what I can; visit that place.
It is not just my duty it is my consciousness which does not allow me to sit somewhere else when there is problem somewhere else. And I had been there when the Catherine T SAI disaster happened in America or tsunami in South Asia, everywhere I usually go. My coming is not that important but what I would like people to start doing is trauma relief workshops, meditation workshop, healing workshop, that has to happen. And that I keep inspiring our volunteers and teachers to keep doing
Your second question, what Norwegians have taught to the world and what can we learn from this? First it is an astonishing thing that such a thing can happen in Norway. Nobody thought about it in their wildest dreams. It happens so often in India, it happens in Pakistan so often; in Palestine, in Middle East all over. But in a peaceful country like Norway if this could happen that means we need to pay more attention to our youths all over the world. We can’t take it for granted that youths are educated in some parts of the world and not educated in other parts of the world. So the ill-educated youths could be anywhere in the world and so the world will not be a safe place unless and until we bring the education of non- violence and compassion right into our education system. This is what Norway can teach the whole world, that doesn’t take it for granted your peace; there could be some crazy elements anywhere in your society.
And what you can do, you can have a vaccination for these crazy elements not to spread or not to sprout in your place, by multi- culture, multi- religious education. This is what Norway can give to the whole world and also the way Norwegian press and the society has responded again is a beautiful example, without going into a blame culture. You immediately came into a love culture, spreading love and going to the Square with roses. Not being angry with somebody or the government or the police or anybody. It’s understanding that love and compassion has more power than hatred.
I am a strong believer of family values. So under the circumstances that we are in now, some of the most tolerant societies are beginning to show intolerance. We are hearing bad news from all over the world. What values should we inculcate in our children from our home?
Sri Sri: As I said,
Sense of belongingness
To live with differences and to live with disagreements.
You know when you have disagreements you try to run away, no! You should stay on with disagreement; this great lesson you know. And the ability to criticize and the ability to take criticism. These are the values we need to inculcate and Art of Living programs are geared up to bring these values in the youths. We have this beautiful programme Yes+ (Youth Empowerment Seminar). You should listen to the youths’ experiences after they finish the course. It really touches your heart.
Thank you for coming here today and I appreciate it very much and I know all of us do. I want to speak a little bit about imagination. Someone said that if one person is unhappy I couldn’t become totally happy. I think it was a poet from Britain - Shirley.
Sri Sri: Imagination is mother of creativity. You want to be creative first you need to imagine, this is number one. Second, you don’t have to see that I will never be happy unless everyone in the world becomes happy. If a doctor says I can’t be healthy unless everyone becomes healthy, then who will make the others healthy? Suppose if the doctor himself falls sick what will happen to the patient? So in order to make people happy you should be happy. If you are happy you can make others happy. It is not the other way around. You can’t say I can’t be happy because everybody else is unhappy. It’s like doctors are saying I can’t be healthy because everyone else is sick in the hospital. Got it? So if others are sick, never mind, you be happy and make others happy; spread your happiness. You can only spread what you have. If you are happy you can spread happiness. If you yourself are upset, angry, dejected, unhappy, how can you help others? Yes!
So how do you find your inner happiness? By going deep inside; meditating. For few minutes cutting off from your environment and realizing your center, that is so stable and strong; beautiful! Getting to your own center you get to the souse of happiness. Then you come out and spread that happiness with everybody. This is what spirituality is all about; attending to that spirit which is the source of happiness, beauty, peace, love and joy. And then come out and spread that to people all around you.
I know I am searching for something but I don’t know what am I searching for?
Sri Sri: I have a simple suggestion for you. Just take out two hours for four days and attend one of the Art of Living Basic programs and do Sudarshan Kriya. Once you do Sudarshan Kriya you will see that there is a deeper spirit within you. You will be able to experience it and it is a fantastic experience. How many of you have already done Sudarshan Kriya raise your hands? Am I correct? How many of you agree with me, it’s a great experience? How many of you think others should definitely have this experience? (Many raise their hands). So everyone should experience this, it’s such a beautiful experience of your spirit. And if you know this you can handle your mind so well. So take that time off, two hours, four days and there are very good highly qualified teachers here. They will take you through that inner journey and you would not get this experience in you life. Am I correct? Okay! Wonderful!
Continue spreading peace, love and joy and I am with you. And I invite all of you to come to India whenever it’s convenient to you. I am sure in the month of February where you would like to have more sun here. So you are most welcome to come to India in February, March, January; and we all belong to each other.