So far I have come across two kinds of people, the first type are so cheerful and gracious all the time, and they even render moral support. But what life has given them is consistent failure and repeated embarrassment.
The second type of people, no matter how much they embarrass and hurt others, they try to push down others and climb over, still they are living gloriously on top with all the riches and beauty. Why this unfairness?
Sri Sri: Why is God unfair? My dear, people who do wrong things, they have to fall. And if they just fall from a short height, they won’t get hurt (laughter). It is not the right punishment! That is why they go all the way up, so that when they fall, they can fall well.
You have seen this happening, haven’t you? Is it not happening? All these corrupt people went so high, and then all the way down. They get into a place where they have to count the bars. Have faith that truth will always triumph.
My life goes like a stock market; it reaches a peak and then falls to zero. How do I bring stability? Is it possible to make this graph stable, or is death the only cure?
Sri Sri: No, first of all, don’t think your life is a stock market. Mind goes up and down.
Just look back and notice, so many times you reached a point where you thought that this is the end of life; that heaven has fallen on your head. But there was an unseen hand that pulled you out of every crisis. You have always received help whenever you have been in crisis. Turn back and see, you will see that in your life this is a fact, that you are always helped. And know that in the future also you will get such help from an unseen, unknown hand, and that is the Divinity. When you know there is a power that is watching me, a power that is going to take me along, it’s never going to let me down, then you will never say your life is a stock market. It is a very solid foundation to life.
How does being religious help me in my spiritual quest? How do I ensure that my daughter grows up to be a good girl devoted to god?
Sri Sri: : Honesty in character, purity in heart, clarity in the mind and spontaneity in action, this is what religiosity should bring.
If you think that you are religious and your heart is not pure, I tell you, you are not religious. If you think you are religious and your mind is filled with worries, I tell you, you are not religious. And if you have doubts and fears, then there is something missing; the faith is missing.
So, being religious means being righteous, and preserving tradition. Doing your prayers, celebrating. All this is essential. But more essential is the spiritual upliftment.
Gurudev, why is it important on the spiritual path to be in control of the five senses?
Sri Sri: Not just on spiritual path, if you don’t have control over your tongue, and you just blabber whatever comes to your mind, it will get you into trouble.
You can’t speak whatever you want. Though you have freedom of speech, you cannot abuse people, you cannot hurl abuses. You can't say, 'It is my right, I can abuse anybody', no. You are going to face the consequences of it.
Similarly, if you eat too much and don’t listen to the body, you are going to bear the consequences.
Gurudev, what should be done about sorrow? They say, letting go and being dispassionate gives you happiness. Doesn't being dispassionate make you lame, or a pessimist?
Sri Sri: No, dispassion is like breathing out, and passion is like breathing in.
You have to have passion, but if you have only passion, you will get into depression sooner or later, because not all your passion comes to fructification immediately, it takes its own time.
At that time, dispassion gives you the much needed room for passion to exist.
Passion is like breathing in, and dispassion is like breathing out. You can’t say, 'I will only breathe in, I won’t breathe out', then you will die. It is not possible. So, dispassion is part of life. If you don’t have dispassion, if you are feverish about anything, you will lose sleep. You will not be able to sleep also. Some degree of dispassion allows you to sleep well. If you don’t have that, you will get insomnia.
Passion and dispassion - this is inbuilt in our nature. Somewhere you have to let go. And that letting go is what is dispassion. And in between these two, we need compassion, got it?
We need three things in life, passion, dispassion and compassion.
Dear Gurudev, you always say that there are five types of questions. Sometimes in the corporate life, if you don’t ask questions in a meeting, you are perceived as being inattentive. Silence is not construed as wisdom.
Sri Sri: Absolutely. In TV channels and corporate meetings you should keep talking something; whether it makes sense or not is secondary.
In the Nyayashastra (scripture on science of logic and reasoning), it is said, there are eight types of Nyaya (arguments): Vaada, Vivaada, Jalpa, Vithanda, Hetwabhasa; these are the different types of arguments.
This is one of the main philosophies of Nyayashastra. It is very interesting. From an ancient time they have codified all this. So keep talking, but be aware of what you are talking, that’s it.
You don’t have to be silent, at the same time, simply blabbering is also no good. If you speak to the point and when it is needed, you will be more appreciated.
Gurudev, religion is called the opium of the society. Why is there so much violence in the name of religion? What do you think should be the driving force in society: religion, ambitions, ethics, money; what?
Sri Sri: Humanism. If religion is devoid of humanism, only violence will exist in the pretext of religion. If you don’t consider that all the people on the planet belong to you, belonging to one God, and if you think they are your enemies, they are bound to fight.
This whole problem in the world today on the pretext of religion is unfortunate.
It first appears like the fight is between Muslims and Jews, or Christians and Muslims, or Muslims and Hindus; these are all appearances. If you go a little deeper, you will find people are fighting even amongst themselves. Among Muslims, among Christians, and among Hindus there is fight. So inter-religious and intra-religious fights and conflicts are happening all around the world. And the main reason is not God, or the prophet, or the philosophy, the main problem is personal egos. It is peoples' ego and narrow mindedness that is the cause, and they use religion as a pretext to bring out of all their pent up anger, frustration and stress, because nobody ever taught them how to get rid of stress and be free, and to live in the moment and be happy. Nobody taught them how to look at everybody with compassion. This teaching, this technique was missing.
Not all the people are like this. There are good people in every religion. And there are so many good people who are striving for the betterment of humanity, in all the religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Islam, Hinduism, everywhere there are good people. There are only a few people who create conflict; they need help. They need help rather than condemnation.
It is easy to condemn a bad guy, but that is not going to help. We need to bring the transformation of hearts and minds. That is what the role of spirituality is. Spirituality unites people of all religions and makes them experience the one truth, the one love that we are all made up of.
Gurudev, what is dharma? What may be dharma for one person may be adharma for another person. How to decide what is my dharma?
Sri Sri: Dharma is that which upholds you. Truth, honesty, compassion, service – these are all in one word called dharma. Duty, one's nature, virtues, values – if you want to put one word in which all of them come together, we say dharma. That which gives you comfort, that which uplifts your spirit, that which upholds your mind, body and soul complex, that is dharma.