Don’t give too much power to money. Money has its role to play.
It’s not just money that makes things work; people have power in their determination. Many of the big demonstrations that have happened in the world, big changes that have come through in the world, they didn’t happen through money.
When Mahatma Gandhi started this big movement in India, he didn’t do it because of money. It is a vision that takes you along. Money has its role to play, but don’t think money is everything. If you have a strong vision of doing something good to the society, I tell you resources will come all by itself. Nature will start helping you.
That is how we started The Art of Living. We had no money. When we began, we had 185 poor kids to feed and we had no money. We never worried about it for even one day, how is it going to come!
There was this school which would be shut down and these kids would be nowhere. They would be on the streets. We had to take them. Somehow things kept happening.
I had a manager who would run the school. I would keep traveling everywhere giving courses. One day, when there was nothing (no resources), some gentleman came out of the blue and he said, 'I want to give two bags of rice and a bag of dal', I said, ‘Welcome!’
Then someone else came. Like that everything started coming on its own. We could run the school.
Step by step, little by little we grew, and now there are about 40,000 kids who are studying. There were 185 kids and we had no place to keep them. We accommodated them in small homes and somehow we started the journey. We never sat and worried, or went to somebody begging, ‘Give us money', no!’ We believed that there is a power that will take care.
When our hearts are pure, our intention is clear and the work is good, resources will come. When it is needed, as much is needed, it will simply come. This is our principle in The Art of Living. And that is what has been happening all these years.
One day our manager said, ‘There is no money to pay the electricity bill.’ He was very hesitant to tell me. I just smiled and said, ‘No, no, it will come.’ By the evening somebody comes up with the money that is needed for the electric bill.
Everything kept happening like that. You will never be short of resources when you want to do something good in the society. This is our experience.
Questions & Answers
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How does one introduce emotional intelligence in kids and help them get better at that?
Sri Sri: You don’t need to introduce it to them. They already have it.
It is not a tablet that you make them swallow from the outside. They do have it.
First, there is emotional development in children, later on the intelligence comes. Emotion is already there. That is why a child screams, yells, laughs and gives you a hug, expresses its love. Emotion is in the very core of every human being. It just needs a little nurturing through random acts of kindness; nurturing through inspiring stories, not just putting them in front of the television and making them watch Donald duck all day long! Human interaction is essential.
Jai Guru Dev, guide me to turn to spirituality again and again, because laziness blocks me to do this. Please advice how can I tackle laziness.
Sri Sri: To tackle laziness, you should take a vow for a limited period of time. Next 20 days I am not going to be lazy. In between, if you become lazy then from that day onwards for another 20 days take a vow again, ‘I am not going to be lazy.’
Whenever you break a vow, you say from that time you will continue with double the enthusiasm, and double the vigor. That seems to have worked for many people.
Number one, taking a vow, taking a determination.
Second would be attending to your food.
Third would be to do some pranayama. When there is energy, when there is prana, it doesn’t allow you to simply sit and be lazy.
Fourth, check vitamin levels in your body. If D3 is low, which more people seem to be having these days, or B12 is low in your body, then you don’t feel like doing anything. Morning you wake up and you feel too tired. This is the sign of vitamin D3 going very low in your body, because we eat all this fast food.
E series of preservatives from food block the sun rays from getting processed into the system. Though you’re in the sun, the D3 doesn’t get into your blood stream. This happens.
That is why we must avoid all these preservatives, ketchups which has all these chemical preservatives. What do you say? How many of you agree with me on this? (Many in the audience raise hands)
We should go back to organic natural food.
When I pray, my prayer takes its own time to be answered. In spite of being in difficulties, when we do not receive any help at that time, I become very upset. What to do at that time?
Sri Sri: When you are upset, you are upset. You cannot apply wisdom at that time. Even if you know all the knowledge, all the wisdom, when a gush of emotion comes, they all fail. All the wisdom fails. I would say, just relax. Take it as it comes. It’s okay to be upset sometimes in life. Never mind. You make life more colorful, more dramatic. Ask people around you, how they enjoyed when you really got upset!
I am a student and there are so many distractions around me. When I start studying I easily get distracted. Is there any permanent solution this?
Sri Sri: No way! Why do you want a permanent solution? There is no permanent medicine in life.
Whenever you get distracted, see what is distracting you? When you’re watching an interesting movie, the mind is not distracted.
There is some craving, there is something that you want. And when you’re a student the real distraction is your boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s a distraction. At that time you have to take a stand, ‘Okay, now for the next few days I am going to focus on my studies as exams are nearing. I have to prepare myself, look at my career.’
The very fact that you feel you are getting distracted, you’re already coming out of it. So you don’t have to be too concerned about it. Definitely do some pranayama, yoga, some exercises.
Gurudev, you say in the Yoga Sutras that those who are not doing good, one should educate and ignore them. But Gurudev, what to do if that person is our life partner and we have to live with him? How do I ignore him or improve him?
Sri Sri: We have to ask him also, what’s his opinion about you.
I am not qualified to answer this question, I have no experience, I don't talk about subjects in which I have no experience, still I would say create a space for him as he is. Don’t try to become his teacher.
The biggest issue with men is if you step on their ego, then that is it, he is not going to learn from you. He’ll become like a rebellious kid. A woman should always take care that she does not step on the ego of her man, but keeps pumping his ego. Making him feel good about himself.
When a person doesn’t feel good about himself that is when he creates trouble for everybody around him. You should realize this. You have to teach him in such a way that he doesn’t feel like he is being taught; you have to do it in a good mood, in a good way.
We need to have patience, that’s the thing. Accept people with so much patience. Or indirectly, through his friends you have to teach him. Not directly but through someone else.
Use your smartness. I know you are very smart.
And finally, if there is an intention in your heart, if there is pain in your heart, ‘Oh, this person is going in a wrong way,’ that pain, that intention, that prayer in your heart can impact a person’s life. This I have seen. Pray for their betterment.
Mahatma Gandhi used to sing this prayer every day, ‘Sabko sanmati de bhagwan’. Give a good mind to everybody.
Gurudev, can all spiritual organization get together and start a political party? I am sure this party can change the face of politics, and the plight of people in the country.
Sri Sri: Spiritual organizations are there to give solace to people of all political parties. Spiritual organizations cannot attach itself to one political party. They have to be neutral. Like the supreme court is for everyone. The court of justice is for everyone. Similarly, the entertainment industry is for everybody. It cannot belong to a party.
Spiritual organizations is where people go when they burn out, when they have problems. They come for advice, they come for solace, they come for rejuvenation. That is needed for all political parties.
Like in the games, an umpire is neutral, he is for everybody. Spiritual organizations have their own code of conduct, their own laws. They need to be neutral. They need to advice. Of course we will also advice people to go and vote 100 percent.
I have been advising all the people not to vote for the criminal and corrupt elements. This much we have to do. We have to point out. The trend in this country is so bad.
There are very few bad elements but they have a vote bank for themselves. There is a corrupt man and he has bought a set of people around him and he buys votes and so he has a vote bank. So every political party gives them a ticket and makes them run for elections. For this trend to reverse, the people, who are apathetic, who just sit at home and don’t go to vote should become more proactive. And this is what we have been doing. It is changing now.