2 January 2014 - QA 1

Gurudev, it is said that wisdom is to have a smile on your face even in bad times. Should I put on a fake smile? I don't feel very good when I do this.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

There is a proverb in America which says, ‘Fake it till you make it’.
When in difficult times, you experience pain. I am not saying you should never express the pain that you are experiencing, and fake it with a smile, no! If you feel there is a problem and if you feel like crying, cry, but snap out of it.
What makes you snap out of it is knowledge. What does knowledge do? It brings back the smile.

I want to tell you an incident. A lady had lost her teenage daughter and she was in a lot of pain. But with the help of knowledge, she could get over the pain.
Then she started going to parties, but it was pinching her. She was feeling guilty, ’I am smiling. How can I simply smile when my daughter has died just a month ago?’
With the help of knowledge, she realized that anyway she had to go, so she went; she was sick and she died. But now when she smiled she felt guilty. She didn’t feel any pain anymore for the death of her daughter, and for that she felt guilty. I have seen many people like this.
A lady who had lost her husband six months ago felt vey guilty for wearing nice dresses. She thought, 'What will people think?'
She felt like wearing, but she didn’t wear. She felt like going for a movie, but couldn’t go because what would people think?
This is where I say, drop all these hesitations and listen to your heart. With knowledge you will be able to smile, and it comes to you naturally.
This is the wisdom, i.e., everybody one day is going to die. I am going to die and you are going to die. Everybody will die. That inner strength and conviction (that comes to you when you realize this) will bring back the smile. When smile comes, don’t say, ‘Oh I shouldn’t be smiling!’

Wisdom is something that brings the natural smile within you even in tough times.
When everything appears to be falling apart, why should you lose your smile?
In everybody's life this happens. Some things that you like happens, some things you don’t like happens. This is part of life. When such things happen, why do you have to blame yourself and get bogged down?
Wisdom gives you the strength to smile even in tough times, and that is a real smile.
Everybody anyway smiles when everything is fine. What is the great thing about it? A baby smiles when there is no pain, but an adult can smile even when there is little pain.

This person came smiling to me and said, ‘Oh my leg is hurting so much!’ Her words and her expression did not match. She didn’t say with a crying face, ‘Oh it is hurting! It is hurting!’ No. She was smiling and saying, ‘Oh, it is hurting. I cannot sit. My leg is twisted.’
So I said, apply shakti drops and see. In 2 minutes it was 60% gone!
How is it when the same thing happens to a baby, or a small child? A baby will still smile, but an adolescent will say, ‘Oh it is paining!’ with a long face. There is no wisdom. Wisdom is important in everybody’s life. It is wisdom that uplifts you. It is wisdom that makes you smile even in very tough times.