Gurudev, how does a spiritually oriented scientist survive in an ego filled discipline?
Sri Sri: Happily! If you are a scientist, be happy. Just say, ‘Hey, come on! This is all just wave functions.’
If someone is getting annoyed, just say, ‘Hey! Wave function! The frequency has changed.’ That is all.
Someone is happy, different frequency. If there is jealously, ‘Oh, they have changed to third frequency.’ Someone is upset, or depressed, ‘Frequency has changed again.’ It is all just frequencies, that’s it.
Would anyone be upset about the changing frequencies? No. So see everybody as nothing but frequencies. Then nothing will touch you, okay!
Enjoy the variety, enjoy the diversity. It is not worth losing your smile for anything out there.
If someone has ego, so what? They need compassion. They are ignorant.
What do you have for people who are in ignorance? Compassion, isn’t it? If someone is in ego, you must think, ‘Poor chap, he thinks he is somebody. Sooner or later he is going to go under the ground. He doesn’t know this. He does not know that he is just a rag doll of a huge wave of energy.’
So have compassion for egoistical people.
See, when you want recognition from others, it is then that you recognize the ego, and this is the problem.
If somebody has ego, how does it bother you? You should walk happily. They should feel ashamed looking at you. Look at this man, he is so happy! Egoistical people should feel jealous seeing you being happy. It depends on you.
If you recognize the ego of others, it will get into you, and you will walk like a mouse. Walk like a lion, and be happy. Don’t frown, or roar like a lion, just smile and feel like a lion inside.
Dear Gurudev, this world is so selfish. People only value money. How to find true love?
Sri Sri: Come on, don’t say that. In the world there are all kinds of people. Don’t blame or label the whole world as selfish. That is not fair.
You know, there are good people on the planet. In fact, in big numbers. The cheats are only a small number.
Suppose if you are also branded as one of those unkind, ruthless, and selfish persons, would you like to accept that label?
Ask yourself; ask your heart, your mind. No! You find that you are very good, you are very kind, but everybody else is bad? That is not correct. Got it?
In this world, there are good people and there are people who do not express goodness. That is all. But even they are good. There is no bad creature on this planet. Everyone, intrinsically is good.
If you go talk to the worst criminals in the prison, you will see in their eyes that they are also good human beings. Somewhere they erred, somewhere they made a mistake. Even the worst terrorist, if you go and meet them, you will see, inside of them, a good human being is hiding.
If you see through my eyes, there are no bad people on the planet. There are people who express goodness and there are people whose goodness is covered, and is not being expressed. That is all. You can help them uncover their goodness. You can help them express their goodness. That is how you should see the world.
Never label the world as bad people. Then your attitude towards the world will also be very bad.
Since I joined The Art of Living, you have taken care of all my worries. My only question is, why is it that whenever I see you, my eyes are always full of tears?
Sri Sri: That is correct. That is how it is.
In one of the Upanishads, they have spoken about, what happens when you have a sight of the beloved.
When you come in touch with wisdom, your heart opens, and when the heart opens, all the doubts in the mind disappear, tears come rolling down, and all karma vanish.
'Bidhyanti hridaya granthi’, the knots in the heart gets opened.
‘Chidyanthe sarva samshayaha’, all the doubts in the mind disappear. ‘Ksheenatechaasya karmani’, all the karmas get thinned down, and they vanish.
That is the sign of wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment. When you have a glimpse of enlightenment, these all will happen.
I remember, once I was here, at the Montreal ashram, (it was not yet built then. We had just bought the land and I was staying in Florrabell) a journalist came and she wanted to interview me. As soon as she sat down with me, she said, ‘Oh my God! What is happening to me? I am forgetting everything! I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’
Tears were rolling down her eyes and she said, ‘This has never happened to me before. I’m so sorry.’ She was so apologetic. She kept crying.
I said, ‘Never mind, don’t worry, this happens.’
She forgot all the questions she had wanted to ask, and this happens many times.
Dear Gurudev, I am in a comfortable job that pays me well. But these days, I get strong thoughts at times like, ‘What am I doing here? Am I supposed to be doing something more worthwhile?’ What do I do?
Sri Sri: Yes, devote your free time to doing some good service, sadhana (spiritual practices) and satsang. All these are very precious to one’s life. Don’t keep sitting and watching movies every day, or TV serials every day.
This is what we do. Come back home, put on the television and keep watching day after day after day. This is all we do, and it is such a waste!
I am not against you watching TV, watch it, but once in a while; once a week or twice a week is good enough, but not every day. It is wasting time. Or keep one or two hours a day for service to the society. If not that, then keep one hour aside and write some knowledge; or go onto Facebook, or the social media and do that seva; spread the knowledge. What do you say? Good idea? It is creative and you will feel satisfied doing it.
Instead of just being a spectator, be a participant in this phenomenon called the universe. You should be a participant, or agent of change in society, rather than just watching television every day and looking at what is happening. Got it?
You can watch television, but not for two-three hours. Instead, dedicate one hour to doing some creative work.
Why is it that when one becomes closer to the spiritual master, he is faced with more difficulties in life, and why does he not give up?
Sri Sri: Yes, there are some who like challenges, they love challenges. Otherwise why would people go on a sailboat around the world? Why would they go and start climbing Mount Everest? Because people like challenges.
It is the ego which wants some big challenges. So, some people may want to do that, and they’ve chosen those difficult routes.
Never mind, when you are on this path, you will do everything with a smile. That is the strength of the path.
It often feels and appears that yoga and Hinduism exclude women, and this makes me think that we are not yet ready for a spiritual revolution. What can you tell us about this, and the role women play? Why are mostly men around you, while women cook and clean?
Sri Sri: Listen, there is no such thing. In Yoga, Hinduism, and Vedic wisdom, they don’t exclude women at all. Men and women are given equal status.
In India, the tradition is, mother comes first and then comes father. They say, ‘Matri Devo Bhava’ (Mother is God).
Also, if you see in writing, they don’t write Mr. and Mrs. in India, it is Shreemati (Mrs.) and then Shree (Mr.).
The Hindu religion says Radhey Shyam, not Shyam and then Radhey.
The name is Sita Ram, first Sita and then Ram. Similarly, Lakshmi and then Narayan. So always women are first.
Have you seen Ardhnarishwar? Do you know the story?
There was this one sage who was averse to women. Usually many people who become recluse, run away from women. Some woman must have ditched him, or something must have happened. I don’t know. But he was so averse to women. He would not look towards women. Even toward deities. He would say, ‘Shiva, Shiva, Shiva’, only and not worship Shakti. So then Shiva appeared in front of him as half woman and half man. And that is called Ardhnarishwar.
This is to indicate, inside everyone, half of you is man and half of you is woman.
Whatever you are physically, man or woman, inside you are both, because you are made up of both, the egg and sperm. You are made up of both, mother’s and father’s DNA. Both are inside you and both are equal.
So, when Shiva appeared as half man, half woman, his prejudice against women dropped, and he attained liberation. That is the story. It is a long story but to make it short, he finally attained liberation when he dropped his prejudice against women. Now, this is the case.
Sometimes, in the Middle Ages, when India was under the influence of Islam, that is when it changed. Women priest were abolished.
If you go to Bali, in Indonesia, today there are women priests there. That is original Hinduism. But in India, after some time, in the middle ages, Islam had women in the parda (covering), and this influence had come on to India. The women were asked to stay indoors, at that time.
In the Vedic times, the women would have all rights. You would see them being priests and all that. So these are changes that have happened, and once a change happens it stays for quite long time. But do not think women are underestimated.
See, there are these nine days only for the worship of Mother Divine. And women do a lot of work for me here. We have many women teachers and male teachers. They are all in our trust. So there is nothing like that.
In fact, our president of the Canadian Ashram is a woman (Debra). For the longest time, we had women ruling in the Canadian Ashram. It is a queen’s territory, maybe.
Jai Gurudev, can you talk about Chaitra Navratri and its significance?
Sri Sri: Navratri means the nine nights. In the nine nights you turn inwards. It is a time for meditation, for you turn inwards, and then come out with creativity. That is the significance.
Chaitra means the beginning of a New Year. So the New Year beings with nine days of turning inwards; prayer, meditation, and chanting. Recognizing the Divinity in the whole creation, and enlivening that aspect.
How do we get rid of the caste system? I am not been able to get married because my parents and his parents think they will be out casted from society. We just belong to two separate castes. What has to be done Gurudev?
Sri Sri: Patience, and education.
I think it is much, much, much less now. People, are much more open. Only thing that bothers people sometimes is food habits; vegetarian and non-vegetarian. That becomes a big barrier you see? But, don’t worry.
You should have the convincing power, to convince them, to make your parents agree.
First make them do Art of Living. That is a better thing to do first.