Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes, you will have to go through these gymnastics. If you have wisdom, you don’t have to go through the pain to learn. When there is lack of wisdom, you go through pain, but you will come out of it in sometime, don’t worry. This is why it is important for one to have a larger context to life. When you have a larger context, all these trivial things don’t really bother you. They are all like waves on the surface of the ocean, they rise and fall; like ripples in the lake, they rise when the wind blows, and when there is no wind, there are no ripples.
So, have a bigger context. That is atma gyaan (knowledge of the self); nothing can shake me, I am much bigger than the emotions, I am much bigger than the world around me, people around me. Their praise and their blame doesn’t matter. I am much bigger than all this!
This awareness uplifts us, then one does not drown in the ocean of emotions, and hurt.
There are four ways to look at hurt.
1. Someone who has hurt you is pained. They have scars, they are unhappy and miserable. They can only share what they have. They are hurt and they are sharing the hurt with you.
So with those people who are inflicting pain on you or hurting you, which you think they are doing purposefully, in fact it is because they do not have happiness inside them. They don’t have joy, they don’t have peace. They have pain and they are wounded so they are causing you hurt.
So, for a wounded person what is required? Compassion. So you have to be compassionate on those who hurt you, because they are hurt and wounded themselves. This is number one.
2. Those who are causing hurt to you are ignorant. They don’t have a broad vision of life. They don’t know themselves and they don’t know what they are doing. They are ignorant and arrogant. You can only feel sorry for them and hope that someday they will become intelligent. They don’t know that their actions are hurting others, and you wish for them to be more sensitive.
3. It is just karma. You had to get this hurt and if not this person then someone else would have given it to you. We must have caused some hurt to someone in the past so nature is bringing it back to us now. When you know that it's just the karma being repaid, you feel very settled. Isn’t it?
4. It is being done to make you strong. Nature is bringing this to you so that you become strong; so that you discover the strength and power within you.
Usually in the pandals (temporary shelters/structures made of fabric and bamboo poles). After putting a pole in its place they shake the pole to see whether it is strong enough or not. Hurt is just that, to see whether you are well established in yourself, whether you are in wisdom or not.
Every hurt is trying to shake you, to see whether you are strong or not. It tests your strength. It is to make you stronger. If you think a wise person or someone intelligent is hurting you, then you should be thankful because there is some purpose in that. They want you to be strong.
If your mother is scolding you, she is not doing it with a bad intention. If your father is scolding you, you can’t say, ‘Oh my father hurt me! My mother hurt me!’
Your parents are not hurting you; they are coming from a space of care and concern for you. We must recognize that they are doing things out of their limited understanding and love for you.
There are two major things that you feel when you are hurt - lack of communication and lack of understanding. Another reason for hurt, if you want to count is being over sensitive to irrelevant or ephemeral things. Events are all ephemeral, they are all moving. Everything is changing. You don’t need to become over sensitive, ‘Oh he said this thing to me, she said this thing to me!’
In Kannada, there is a proverb that says, ‘God has not put a bone in the tongue; the tongue rolls, moves in all directions.’ Never mind what words come out of people’s mouths.
This is a big issue in the world today. The root cause of so many diseases and conflicts is that we don’t know what we should put in the mouth, and we don’t know what should come out of the mouth!
People keep stuffing all sorts of things in their mouths. In this little hole, tons and tons of food goes in, and volumes and volumes of garbage come out; this is the misery of the world.
Again, a poet in Kannada said, ‘All the fun people have in the world, is only by words!’
Jokes and comedy happens because of words, all the conflicts and hatred is also through speech. It is speech that entertains, makes you laugh, and again, it is speech that creates divisions in the society, and hatred amongst people.
All different types of wealth come to you by your speech. Speech is a real gem in the world. So all hurt is only speech. Some words come out and someone says, ‘Oh, I am hurt!’
Now, if someone is trying to physically hurt you, you just be careful, equip yourself. I am not saying if someone comes to hurt you, you fall at their feet. No, you be intelligent, and protect yourself; especially ladies and girls, they should not go alone here and there.
The problem is that the consumption of alcohol has gone up three times more, and proportionately violence has also increased in the world. Men are not bad, but what makes them bad is alcohol. Don’t think that India has all bad men, and so many bad things are happening to women; it is the influence of alcohol.
The only bad act a person does is he gets drunk. When he is drunk, he is not himself, and women are not safe around drunken people. Women should take up this cause of shutting down all this alcohol business; instead women are joining hands and drinking with them!
This big thing happened for women’s protection; hardly anyone spoke about prohibiting alcohol consumption or production. In states of India where alcohol prohibition has been introduced, crime rates have come down as compared to states where there is no prohibition.
Even all the god and goddesses have weapons to protect people. Sri Ram has a dhanush (bow and arrow), Sri Krishna has a sudarshan chakra (a weapon in the form of a disc). So, don’t be too naive and move around anywhere. Especially when there are elections and holidays around, alcohol consumption goes up, people drink more, you have to be watchful in those days.