27 December 2012 - QA 1

Can you please explain why we should avoid rebirth?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

If you wake up and see, in life there is so much misery, and misery is what you don’t like. You don’t want misery.

What we don’t want to have is called misery, and it is there in life.

Between husband and wife, father and mother, mother and daughter, daughter and son; with friends and with enemies, there is misery. Even your body brings you misery. Anything you do, there is some misery.

When you are born in this world, you are dependent. When you are a baby you can’t even get up on your own, somebody has to lift you and somebody has to wipe you.

From the time you are born you are dependent, and even in old age you become dependent, but money gives you a false opinion that you are independent. That is why it is called Maya. Maya means it creates an impression.

If you give somebody a few dollar bills, they come and work for you, and that gives you the feeling that you are independent.

In life there is dependency. Where there is dependency there is misery. What is miserable is not pleasant, and you don’t want to have it. So people say, `I don’t want any more rebirth. Enough is enough.’

Just imagine, you have to go to school again, be whacked, and then go to college and go through all the teenage crises again.

Look at all those teenage children, their faces swollen; so angry. The are angry at their parents and they don’t know what to do.

See, it is not just your enemies who bother you, your friends also bother you.

Everything is a botheration.

Your mind is occupied by your friends as much as it is occupied by your enemies. So they all bother you. Moreover, keep all botherations on one side, your mind is your biggest botheration.

Nothing in the world can bother you as much as your own mind, I tell you.

In fact, others seem to be bothering you, but it is not others, it is your own mind.

You want freedom from your own mind and so you say, ‘I don’t want another birth.'

But once you know that it is your own mind that is bothering you, and not somebody else, then that is wisdom. And when wisdom dawns then you say, ‘I don’t mind if I have to be reborn ten times, or a hundred times, or a thousand times, I will come.'

Then you realize life is joy, life is bliss. This is wisdom!

Yesterday I said, mind is our best friend and mind is our worst enemy. It sees an enemy in a friend and a friend in an enemy. Your mind can twist, distort, create it’s own hell and it’s own heaven.

So what we really want is freedom from the mind, but you say, 'I don’t want to be born again.'