Q: Guruji, it is said on the path one should drop everything and be free of purpose or goals. I am a busy executive, without a purpose how can I take responsibility?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See there are two things Pravittri and Nivritti. Do not mix the two.
There are two attitudes that we have to pay attention to. One is, when you go inward (Nivritti) you think that everything is fine and I don’t want anything. That is called Meditation.
When you have to come out and work (Pravritti), then seek perfection in even small details. Put your full attention and take responsibility.
The message of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna’s life is this only. When you have to come out and work (Pravritti), then seek perfection even in small details. Whenever you see imperfection, you have to pay attention on how you can correct it. And when you have to retire then say, ‘Everything is fine.’ This attitude will help you go deep in meditation. This is the path of Nivritti.
That is why one who knows the difference between Pravritti and Nivritti is said to have a sattvic intellect. He is called intelligent.
What is the other sign of an intelligent person – one who is able to see good even in a bad person; one who sees the good in everyone. You go to a prison and you find something good in the biggest culprit. To find good in the guilty is the sign of intelligence.
So an intelligent person finds something good in the worst people, but a foolish person will dig out something bad from ever the best people, and there are people who do this.
Someone in America wrote a book that Ramkrishna Paramhansa was mad. He also proved that he had so many negatives, and Vivekananda has these many negative qualities, and all Hindu saints have some or the other bad qualities, and he has made a text book out of it.
This is a sign of foolishness, to look for something bad in good people. And the sign of an intelligent person is one who uplifts even a bad person.
Do not lose the equanimity of your mind. You do not know when and where, what will happen. When a friend will become an enemy and when an enemy will become friend.