Knowledge turns every nightmare into a sweet dream
May 17, 2012
Q: Do we create our reality or is everything predetermined? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you have a dog at home? (Answer: Yes)
See, when you go to the park, you go with a leash on the dog. That is legal. Now, the dog has freedom only for the length of the leash. Correct? It can sit very close to where the leash is, or go as long as the leash is. That much is its freedom. If you have trained a dog to be in one area, that is his freedom. He doesn’t go twenty kilometers away.
Similarly, in life, everybody has some freedom, and some things are fixed.
Human beings have this freedom because humans have intelligence. The lives of animals are programmed. They never overeat. Their life is aligned with nature, but we have the freedom to align with nature or violate the law. Are you getting what I am saying?
When you align with nature, there is harmony, and when you go against the laws of nature, there is disharmony. So, in life, many things are fixed and a few things are free will.
I will give you another example. When it is raining to get wet or not is your freewill. You can take an umbrella or a rain coat and not get wet.
So, life is a combination of freewill and destiny. The more you go deep into meditation, the happier you are, the more you align yourself with nature, the more you will have free-will.
Everything that you have – power, beauty, money, appearance, voice, they are all meant to be put to good use, for the service of others. Then, you find life will be so fulfilling.
Q: When life ends the world does not end. But when the world ends life ends. Is there an end to this world? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you see a tennis ball and ask me where does the ball begin and where does it end, what can I say?
Three things in the world that neither begins nor end.
1. The Divine light or the consciousness has no beginning and no end.
2. Life has no beginning and no end. It is eternal.
3. This Earth, our world has no beginning and no end.
This earth is spherical. It will change its form but it keeps continuing. Don’t worry; the world is not ending, especially in 2012. The world ends only in American movies.
Q: I had dream that I am coming this course and I have had dreams about you. Are dreams a sort of intuition? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are 6 types of dreams. Do you want to know?
The first type is daydreaming. Let us leave it aside. It is not a dream per se.
The second type of dream that comes to you is about your past experiences. Your past experiences and impressions come to you as dreams.
The third type of dream is your desires and fears; they come to you as dreams.
The fourth type of dream is your intuition or premonition. Whatever is going to happen may come to you as a dream.
The fifth type has nothing to do with you, but with the place where you sleep. You see faces and hear languages that are strange to you.
The sixth type is a mixture of all this. And 99% of the dreams are of this type. So, it is best not to try to interpret or worry about them too much.
You never know, some dreams could be your premonition or intuition, and some could just be your fear or anxiety. So, it is best to just let go, drink a cup of tea and be happy. Wake up from the dream.
The wise people see even this life as a dream. You should see the whole past as a dream. It is all gone, isn’t it? It is like a dream.
Dreams are nothing but memories of impressions. It is all gone. And this (the present) will become a dream. It will be gone. And tomorrow, day after and three days later, you will all go back home and say, ‘Oh, we were in Bulgaria. It is all like a dream.’
Similarly, if you think about it, you will live day after day, day after day, for another 50 years on this planet, and then you will wake up and say, ‘Oh, it is like a dream, it is all gone’. Correct!
And it is knowledge that turns every nightmare into a sweet dream.
Q: Can the soul be reborn in the same family? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It is possible if the person is too attached to their grandchildren.
If the only thought in the mind is ‘My grandchildren, my grandchildren’, then they will be born there. Our deepest impression causes the next birth.
Q: Is there only individual karma, or is there karma of a nation? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There are so many layers of karma. There is individual karma, family karma, community karma, nation karma, and also time karma. There are so many layers of karma. But all that can be changed.
When you sit and meditate, changes occur in so many ways. Don’t think that you are meditating just for yourself. When you do Kriya or meditation, you are not only making your karma positive, but you are also influencing the planet and you are also influencing the other subtler planes. When you do meditation, it has a very soothing and calming influence even on the people that are dead and gone.
Q: How do we find our life’s mission? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: To realize one’s mission, your mind has to become clear. And doing Hollow and Empty meditation makes the mind very clear. When the mind is clear then intuition comes up.
Think how best I can be of use to people, and when you become useful to people around you, when your life is for seva, then you find that life is very meaningful and very fulfilling.
If your life is only centered on yourself, ‘What about me, what will I get? How much more joyful can I be?’ If you are focused only on that then you go into depression.
See, your strength and talents are meant to be put to good use for others. If nature has given you a good voice, is it for you or for others? Do you sing and listen to your own song? If nature has given you a good voice, that is for others to enjoy.
If nature has given you a good form, is it for you or for others? It is for others to look at you and enjoy.
So, any strength that you have is not for you; it is for others.
Any power or strength that you have can be used in two ways. Either you use the power to fight with others, or use the power to serve others. For centuries, people in the world have been gaining power only to fight with others, isn’t it? One gained power so that they could fight another, and whom do you fight with – with the one who is equal to you.
Definitely one does not fight with someone who has less power than them. One fights with someone who is on par with them. And nobody has found happiness in fighting with power. If the power that you have been given is put to good use, to serve, it brings you satisfaction and happiness.
So, everything that you have – power, beauty, money, appearance, voice, they are all meant to be put to good use, for the service of others. Then, you find life will be so fulfilling.
Inside each of us there are two things. There is a constant flow of a consciousness that does not change, but many things around that keep changing. So, when you look back in your life, you are not the same person that you were. But at the same time you are the same person. Both are there simultaneously.
Q: Do we have the right to help somebody who has refused help. Keeping in mind that their free will is sacred, should we help them? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I want to ask you a question. Suppose there is a child who is running around on a small parapet wall, and there is a danger of falling, what will you do? Let the child have its freedom? No, you will guide the child and bring it back, right?
Similarly, if someone is into drugs, and you know it is harmful for them, won’t you go and help them? So, similarly we must try our best to you our skills to help people out of trouble.
Suppose someone is mentally ill and does not take medication, what does the family do? Allow him to be? He may get violent and hit everybody. The wise family members give his prescribed medication in juice or milk, and he feels better after drinking it.
So, there is nothing called ‘absolute’. You should always use your wisdom for the given situation. You cannot force someone in order to help them. Suppose someone wants to drive on the wrong side of the road, they cannot say it is my free will to drive on the wrong side of the road. When you are living in society, you have to follow certain norms. Similarly, even when you want to help someone, you have to follow certain norms. Don’t force, at the same time, don’t wait that someone will invite you to put out the fire in their home. If your neighbor’s house is on fire, you can’t expect a phone call or an invitation to go and put out the fire. You rush to put the fire off. You volunteer, right? Understand! So take the middle path.
Q: I am sincerely doing all these practices, but I am not sure that I have changed. I still see myself getting upset and that makes me unhappy. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, how are you now? Are you happy now? Forget about the past. Are you happy to be here? Are you enjoying? That is it.
Inside each of us there are two things. There is one thing that does not change. There is a constant flow of a consciousness that doesn’t change. Many other things around that keep changing. So, when you look back in your life, you are not the same person that you were. But at the same time, when you see, you are the same person. Both are there simultaneously.
When do you feel that you have not changed? When you get upset. Suppose somebody pushes a button, and you get angry, you say, ‘Oh, I have not changed, I still get angry.’ That is the problem, right? That is not true. In the past, you got angry, but the anger stayed in your mind for months and months. You get angry even now, but it just stays for a few minutes, or till you do one short Kriya, and then you become fresh again.