25 January 2014 - QA 1

Gurudev, when we put our focus on others, we get weak. Like when Yudhistira (character from Indian epic Mahabharata) put his focus on the Pandavas (Yudhistira's brothers) he got weak, but Krishna told him to be centered. Does this mean we should not be sensitive to others?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

You must know the difference between being sensitive to others and getting caught up in the emotions of others. These are two different things.

You can easily get caught up in someone else's emotion, and lose your centeredness. Then your perception gets dull, your judgments become hazy or erroneous. And you don't get that clarity.
Like a father or mother, they know their kid is crying and then they know that the kid will stop crying. And they attend to its need. They don't get emotionally involved, 'Oh the baby is crying so I will also start crying'.

Just imagine, every day a newborn baby cries, now if the mother also cries with the baby the whole time, what will happen! Disaster! The baby cries almost every hour or every two hours, just imagine the mother crying every hour or two!

You have to be sensitive. It doesn't mean that the mother is insensitive to the baby crying. The mother is all the more sensitive, but she doesn't get carried away by the emotion of the baby. When someone is crying, you also start crying, that is getting totally sucked into someone else' emotion. The mother is sensitive, yet she is not sucked into the emotion of the baby. In the same way, that is what Yoga does. It keeps you centered, yet sensitive and sensible.

There are two kinds of people:

1. People who are very sensible. They are cerebral people, very sensible but they are not sensitive because they think what they know is right.

2. Those who are very sensitive, but often are not very sensible. They get carried away by emotions. They talk only through emotions.

You know, three months in a year the male elephant gets a secretion. The testosterones increase, so they get some secretion in their head. And those three months, the big elephant doesn't even listen to the mahout. He becomes a little wild, so they chain him at that time.
So a lady who came for the first time saw that the elephant had been chained, and she started saying, 'Oh this animal is being chained', and started crying.

If that animal is not chained, everybody else will have to cry because he is not in his senses in those three months, and he will do anything! Even the mahout cannot control the elephant at that time, so they put chains. And the chain is not a big thing for an elephant. It's just a few kilos; an elephant can carry tons. So it is not a big burden on it, but it looks like the elephant has a chain on its leg.

So, people who are emotional, sometimes they are not sensible. What is really needed is sensitivity along with sensibility. A perfect combination of head and heart, to say in the layman's language.

So, women already have a lot of sensitivity, they can be more sensible. And men already have a lot of sense, but they should me more sensitive. This is not a general rule, by the way. Many times it is the other way around also!

I have to put a safeguard on! (Laughter)