Q: I have often heard you say that when we come on the path and do seva, we find a family, belongingness and acceptance. This is not my experience. I feel like I do not belong here. I do not understand. Is there something lacking in me?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you feel distant from everybody that means you’re settling within yourself. It’s good, otherwise you get caught up with people around you.
How many of you have good friends and then suddenly they become unfriendly? (Many raise their hands). Look, so many!
And for how many of you, people whom you did not expect anything from, they started helping you? Someone out of nowhere, whom you have not done any favor, started helping you? (Many raise hands)
You cannot explain why someone whom you did so much for turned against you, and you can’t explain why people for whom you didn't do anything, became so helpful. There is no logic or reason. Friends and enemies, they all work on a different plane of karma. Put them all in one basket.
If your time is good even the worst enemy behaves like a friend, and if your time is bad, your best friend behaves like an enemy. So bow down to time.
There’s a saying, 'Kalaya tasmai namaha', which means that it is time which plays around.
If you find that there are some shortcomings in you and you get attached to people, you become miserable. If you don’t feel attached, you feel aloof from everybody, even then you become miserable. You feel that there is no one to appreciate you, or thank you. This is where I say, turn inward and look into your being; the truth of the universe.
This universe has been there for millions of years and it will continue to be there for millions of years. Our life is so short. We will be here for a few years and then we will be gone. As long as we are alive, let’s do some good work. It will definitely bring us some merits. There is no doubt about it!
You do some good work (service), you wish good for people, and it doesn’t do good to you? That is impossible!
If you sow a Maple sapling, it will turn out to be a Maple tree only. It won’t become a Bergsazwes (Cypress) tree. That much surety you must establish in your mind.
I do good because I can’t but do good. It’s in my nature and so I do it. Don’t think such things, ‘Oh nobody thanks me, nobody recognizes me', Never mind! Nature will recognize you and the divine will recognize you.
If you really wake up and see, one who is doing seva and good things is loved by everyone. If you feel you are not loved by people, it’s not true! It’s our own illusion. Sometimes we are hard on others and sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. If you are too hard on yourself it is a problem, and if you are hard on others, then also it’s a problem. So wake up, rest and meditate. Once your mind feels fresh, your vision becomes clear.