QA with Sri Sri
Q: What is the mystery behind karma?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: : As you sow, so you reap. Isn’t it? There is a couplet(shlok) that defines Raajasic intellect as that which discriminates among individuals, whereas Saatvik intellect treats everyone alike seeing the same divinity in all. So during meditation, when the saatvik intellect awakens, think of those to whom you feel attached as manifestations of the divine, and those towards whom you feel enmity, also as manifestations of the divine. This is all merely a game. The same divine manifesting in different colours has also manifested within me, as me.
How many of you experienced it today?( Many in the crowd raise their hands. )
‘Sarva bhuteshu yena ekam bhavam avyayam ikshate avibhaktam vibhaktesu tat gyanam viddhi satvikam’
That which is uninterrupted / undivided at all times – the same indivisible mind in discrete bodies, the same indivisible space which appears separate in ten different bowls - one who sees this unity in diversity is extremely special. The ability to experience this state of unity even for a little while in meditation is present in the aatvic consciousness, although one cannot remain in this state forever.
A raajasic mind is one that focuses on the differences (disparateness) among all beings / individuals.
Taamasic intellect is that which is stuck in one point of view, and lacks the ability and willingness to look beyond; a thought comes to the mind and becomes permanently rooted – small /narrow mindedness. Say for instance, one forms a negative opinion of someone, treats them unfairly and then uses all means and arguments to justify that behaviour or stand point. You see many people in this taamasic mindset all around. They stay trapped in their preconceived notions. The idea that meditation, yoga etc. are useless, and all saadhus (Sages) and sanyaasis (hermits) are imposters, hypocrisy remains firmly embedded in their minds. They are unwilling to alter their opinion even when contrary evidence is provided. This is taamasic attitude or knowledge.
I will tell you a story; Mullah Nasruddin had a thought that he was dead. He began to deny everything with the argument that he was dead. If his wife said something to him, he would say, ‘how can a dead man reply?’ If she asked him to do any work, he would say, ‘how can a dead man do anything?’ So finally his wife got fed up and took him to a psychiatrist. After a lot of discussion, the psychiatrist asked mullah, if blood comes out of a dead body. Mullah said ‘no, blood becomes water’. So the psychiatrist took out a pin and pricked mullah’s hand, and blood came out. ‘Look mullah, you are bleeding, so you are alive!’ said the psychiatrist. Then Mullah looked at the oozing blood and said, ‘Oh, today I have learnt a new thing – even dead men bleed!!’
This is taamasic knowledge. Saatvik knowledge is essential in life. Through Saatvik knowledge, God can be found. For earthly life, some raajasic knowledge (discrimination) is needed. Taamasic knowledge increases sorrow, suffering and ignorance.