What we need to understand is that we should know that we already have what we want in life. You start with this intention, ‘I already have what I want’, then what you want will fructify easily. Thinking, ‘I have it’, is like sowing a seed. Once you sow a seed, then you put water and manure and it will sprout and grow. So you know mentally that the seed is there. Same way, whatever you want to achieve in life, know that you are that and you have it. If you think, you don’t have it then only lack grows.
That is the reason why people who have money keep getting more money and those who do not have; they don’t get because they keep saying. ‘I don’t have, I don’t have’. So the mind goes in the direction of lack.
Do you know, whenever things were not there at home or when we would ask for chocolate, my grandmother used to always say, ‘It is in plenty, in abundance, we will go to the shop.’ For someone who listens to it, it appears completely absurd. We never heard her say that we don’t have.
So that ‘lack’ consciousness should go and you should feel the abundance. So whatever goal you want to achieve, first know that you have it, you have achieved it, and then put your effort to achieve it. Effort should be put, but only effort will not work. Before effort, there should be the seed of the goal as well. So, the goal is already present in the seeker. The goal is not somewhere out there and you have to try to reach it, no! Just relax; the goal is here and now. So, Enlightenment is present in you. If you think you lack it, you are never going to achieve it. You should know that it is present in you as a seed. You should know you are already a yogi and keep doing yoga, you will find perfection in it. If you think you are not a yogi and then try to achieve yoga perfection it is not going to work. So know that the seed is already there.
So, if you want to be a businessman, put the seed, ‘I am a businessman’, and then work towards being a businessman. It may appear very absurd. Usually people think, ‘I don’t have and so I have to achieve’, but seldom are they able to do it. The secret of success is in the understanding that goal is already present in the seeker.
So, today you got a very big secret knowledge.
What is the significance of the
crescent moon on Lord Shiva’s
Shiva tatva is where there is no
mind, and the Moon signifies the
mind.You need a little bit of
mind to understand, experience
and to express. So to express that
inexpressible, you need a little
bit of mind and that is why that
little mind (crescent moon) is
on the head.
Q: Dear Guruji, it is said that during the time of the Mahabharata, technology was much more advanced than it is now. What happened? Where did all the progress and advancement disappear? How do we move backward? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, this is a cycle in nature. Everything goes in cycles.
There were dinosaurs on this planet, and there were big birds which could be trained. On the back of these big birds they used to build mantaps (halls) and train the birds to go places and it would fly and go.
Huge birds used to be present during the dinosaur age, almost the size of our aero planes. Have you see the documentary on that? Some birds would weight around 3000 kilos and people would build rooms on top of them.
In Ramayana, it is written how Ravana was going with Sita, and Jatayu (a huge bird) came in the way and Ravana cut its wing.
So I don’t know how we lost and why we lost, but right now we are losing our freedom. With great difficulty our country gained freedom, but now the way we are seeing corruption growing in this country is pathetic. We need to set those things right.
Q: Dear Guruji, I am so successful in business but a disaster in personal life. What should I do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First of all, remove this label from you, ‘I am a disaster’. If you have realized that you have committed disaster in the past, then you are already moving in the right direction. The disaster is when you don’t realize that you are a disaster. When you have caused a disaster and known that it was a disaster then you are out of it. So walk freely now, don’t worry.
Q: Dear Guruji, please explain the significance of the Damru (the drum), the Trishul (the trident) and the crescent moon on Lord Shiva’s head. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Shiva tatva is where there is no mind, and the Moon signifies the mind. When there is no mind then how can this ‘no mindedness’ be expressed and how can anybody understand? You need a little bit of mind to understand, experience and to express.
So, it is not a full moon, but it is a little crescent moon on the head which means there is only a little bit of the mind needed to express the inexpressible. Shiva tatva is inexpressible; no one can find its root.
There is a story relating to this where Brahma went to find the head and Vishnu went to find the feet but no one could find anything. So the Infinity cannot be comprehended unless there is a mind.
You sit in meditation and you experience the nothingness, but then the thought comes, ‘I am experiencing this beautiful meditation’. Who experienced that? That is the mind. The mind cognizes, ‘Oh, I had good sleep’, or, ‘I had good meditation’.
So to express that inexpressible, you need a little bit of mind and that is why that little mind (crescent moon) is on the head.
The head is all wisdom. Wisdom is beyond mind, but it needs to be expressed with a little tinge of mind and this is symbolized by the crescent moon.
Damru symbolizes the Universe which is always expanding and collapsing. From an expansion it collapses and then it re-expands, this is the process of creation.
If you see your heartbeat, it is not just one straight line but it is a rhythm that goes up and down.
The whole world is nothing but rhythms, energy rising and collapsing to rise again. So the Damru signifies that. Look at the shape of the Damru, from expansion it collapses and again expands.
The Darmru is also a symbol of sound. Sound is rhythm and sound is energy. The whole universe is nothing but a wave function, it is nothing but rhythms.
What does quantum physics say? It says the same thing – the whole universe is nothing but rhythms.
So there are no two things, there is only one thing. It is just one wave.
This is what Adi Shankara said, there is only one thing.
If it appears to you as though this bulb is different, that bulb is different, the fan is different, then you are confused, you don’t know the reality. The reality is that there is only one electricity, only one main switch and if that is on, all the bulbs are on. If that is off, everything is off. So one thing runs everything and that is electricity. So this entire universe is consciousness or one energy.
Now is electricity good or bad? It is neither.
If you put your hand in the socket and you get a shock, is that good? But at the same time, if you get a shock, is electricity bad? No! It is stupid to say that electricity is bad because it gives so much comfort – light, sound, air, food – everything comes out of electricity. At the same time electricity is very harmful. If a high tension wire is passing from above your home, there is so much radiation which is very bad.
So electricity is neither good nor bad. This is what we must understand. That is why we say the Brahmatatvam or life is beyond good and bad. Good and bad is always relative, there is nothing evil or nothing good, it is all beyond that, it is all only one thing – this is called Tatva Gyan, the real knowledge.
Q: Dear Guruji, when you mentioned that rich people get richer and poor people become poorer when they think that they lack. Is there some way that nature compensates for these imbalances? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, through knowledge. That is why we need to encourage everyone to be self confident and come out of this ‘lack’ consciousness. Those who have should start serving. Those who don’t have, they should start knowing that they will get what they need and work hard.
Q: When did you realized that you are meant to be Guruji? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is a nice story in the Ramayana.
That was a stray dog that was walking on the street and someone threw a stone at the dog and chased it. So the dog went to court.
It is said that in Lord Rama’s court, everyone got justice, even animals.
So, the dog went to court and said, ‘The road is for everybody. It doesn't say anywhere on the road that dogs are not permitted here. I was walking on the road and this man hurt me; you should punish him.’
So Lord Rama asked the person if it was true. The person could not lie, and agreed that he had hurt the dog.
In those days, they used to ask the victims on what punishment should be given to the culprit.
So when the dog was asked on what punishment should be given to the man who hurt him with the stone, the dog said, ‘Make him the head of a religious institution. Make him a Guru of some Ashram.’
The people said that this is a very strange punishment.
The dog said, ‘Why are you asking? Just make him that. I was also a Guru in my past life, see what has happened! Then before dying, I thought that I should have been a stray dog that would have been better than being a Guru. See, that is why I have become a dog now. I had so much trouble. He too should become the head of an Ashram, and then he will experience what is trouble in life, and what is pain, and what is suffering.’
It is a very funny story in the Ramayan.
See, one who goes around saying, ‘I am a Guru’, does not become a Guru. The Guru tatva manifests in one who does not proclaim to be a Guru. One who remains simple and natural is a Sadguru.
And a little bit of this Guru tatva is present in every one of you as well. You also now and then give some good advice to someone or the other, and you also spread love and joy to those around you, isn’t it?!
We must love and serve others without wanting anything in return. This is important.
Usually, we think, I gave so much love to that person, what he gave me in return. In this way, we try to make the other person feel that we have done them a great favor by loving them, this we must not do.
Love is your nature, love does not mean that you keep saying, ‘Oh I love you so much’, no! It is acting with dignity, naturalness, compassion and simplicity, and we are born with these qualities.
If sometimes you need be firm then be firm. You can get angry only when there is love.
Nevertheless, surrender all your qualities and become hollow and empty. To come closer to the Guru tatva, this is what you need to do – surrender all your positive and negative qualities and be happy.
Do you want to maintain good health, good relationships? Then you have to do meditation. Meditation helps you to be sane and helps you to maintain what you already have.
That is why it is called Yogakshemam; Yoga is to attain what you don’t have, and kshemam is to protect what you already have.
Q: Guruji, in the old days, it is said that people used to be in Samadhi for years. But in today’s age, in twenty minutes the work gets done. Are those stories true? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, they wrote stories of how someone sat in Samadhi and over time an anthill grew over them. It is not like that. What it signifies is that when one sits in meditation certain sensations arise all over the body as if ants are crawling.
If there is a good teacher then one can attain Samadhi easily. Without a Guru, Samadhi cannot be experienced.
Q: Guruji, what is Kundalini and how to awaken the Kundalini? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Kunda means body, and Kundalini means the conscious energy in this body.
Whatever happens in meditations in the Advance Course is Kundalini itself. There is no other way to interpret Kundalini. If meditation happened, it would not be possible without the awakening of the Kundalini. If you went into meditation, it means the Kundalini has been awakened in you.
Q: Guruji, like you said what we want in life we should know that we already have it. Can I feel the same for a person in my life whom I want? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, it may happen but there is no guarantee that it will happen in this lifetime. It may happen in the next lifetime or after ten lifetimes. That is why I said that an intention will fructify at its own time.
Q: Guruji, I am having a good family life, a good career, good interpersonal relationships, and I am very satisfied and know God is within me, do I still need to do meditation? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See, meditation is something that maintains what you have. You have everything going good for you; do you want to maintain it? Do you want to maintain good health, good relationships? Then you have to do meditation.
Meditation reduces stress otherwise tension builds up and after five to ten years, you will burst out. Meditation helps you to be sane and helps you to maintain what you already have.
That is why it is called Yogakshemam; Yoga is to attain what you don’t have, and kshemam is to protect what you already have. If you already have and you want to maintain it, then also meditation is essential. If you don’t have something, to get it also you need to do meditation.