Do you know, for me, IT means Inner Transformation. And if you say IIT, it would mean Intense Inner Transformation.
We forget about our body, our mind, our breath, which is a whole technology in itself.
The body is a machine, and the Consciousness which operates this body, which has helped to develop this body, we have ignored that. We need to pay attention to that as well. Then a new dimension to life opens up.
A cell phone has multi
functions, and so does our
brain and our life. We can
open our Consciousness to
different levels of reality.
This is not just the only
reality that exists.
It is because of Consciousness that technology exists today in the world.
In somebody's mind, the ideas come and then the ideas manifest as technology. And where do these ideas come from? And what helps to translate the ideas into reality? That is Consciousness.
Today, we have cell phones, but 20 to 30 years ago, we had no idea about cell phones. How to make a cell phone, such an idea came into somebody's Consciousness. And then that idea was again developed by the Consciousness. Isn't that so?!
This Consciousness which is responsible for all creativity, all scientific discovery in the world, all forms of music, art, fashion, film, and everything else, needs your attention.
The same Consciousness in which scientific discoveries happen, in which art and architecture develop, is also a store house of happiness.
The same Consciousness can manifest health, can manifest happiness, can manifest love and compassion.
So this one Consciousness which is working in our brain and in the different parts of our body, has so many abilities. The same Consciousness can be very logical, it can understand, it can comprehend, it can create, and it can also manifest compassion, love, peace and joy - just like the cell phone.
See, how many programs are there in a cell phone. There is a camera (Sri Sri takes pictures of the audience).
Then there is twitter. Do you know my twitter account? @SriSriSpeaks.
So this has a twitter account, it has SMS facility, a telephone book and a music player (Sri Sri turns on some music on the music player).
Now, I should know how to turn it off as well (referring to the music player). Now I found which button I should press.
Sometimes, our mind is like that, it starts and then it goes on and on and on, and we don't know how to shut it off, isn't that so?!
There are so many applications in a cell phone, there is a clock!
A cell phone has multi-functions, and so does our brain and our life.
We can open our Consciousness to different levels of reality. This is not just the only reality that exists.
So if you have kept this Consciousness active only for art or music and that is it, then life is not complete. Or if it is only for science and logic, it is not complete.
If you are open to just having fun and being merry, then life is not complete.
So just like how you have to switch on and switch off different functions of a cell phone, we can have the ability to switch on and off all the abilities that nature has provided in us.
There is a certain simplicity inside you. We have all been born with that innocence and simplicity. When we grew up somewhere we lost that.
As we grew up, we stopped smiling, we stopped being natural, we stopped being simple. Isn't that so!
So what is essential is both, sensibility and sensitivity.
Totally logical, rational thinking is essential for human being. Don't accept anything because somebody says it. We must use our intellect. This is the first function of human beings. Anything that is illogical, that does not appeal to reason, we should not accept.
So first is logic, this function is important because it creates sensibility.
How to make a cell phone, such
an idea came into somebody's Consciousness. And then that
idea was again developed by
The same Consciousness in
which scientific discoveries
happen, in which art and
architecture develop, is also a
store house of happiness that
can manifest health, happiness,
love and compassion.
Now, just sensibility is not enough, you need sensitivity. Sensitivity is a matter of the heart. You can be very logical but you need to understand the view points of others as well. Many times, what people say, they behave in that exact manner. They are very correct, but they can hurt others easily.
Anyone who is very angry, they justify their anger with logic, but they don't know that their anger is hurting the other person. Not only the other person but them also. So the second important thing is being sensitive.
You know, somebody may be a fool but you calling them a fool, shouting at them, scolding them is not going to help. You need to be sensitive.
Do you know, the other day, in a program there was a lady who was scolding another person there who did not do their job very well. Then I called that lady and said, 'Listen, by your scolding, do you think that person has changed?'
And that lady said, 'No'.
I said, 'Then what is the use of yelling so much at that lady. You only destroyed your own image. The moment you scold somebody, even if you are giving them a productive or creative suggestion, they push it away. The purpose of your shouting is to bring sense into that person, and when by shouting it is not achieved, what is the use.'
She said, 'You are correct! I have been doing this all my life and created so many enemies around me.'
I said, 'That is why, you can't expect a donkey to run like a horse.'
You sit on a donkey and expect it is to run like a horse, that is not possible. So accept a donkey as a donkey and a horse as a horse. Where is the anger then?! This is sensitivity - being sensitive to the feelings of others and their needs. This is the quality of the heart.
There are people who are too sensitive. They lose their logic. They become an emotional soggy noodle. This is no good either. You need the perfect balance of sensitivity and sensibility. What do you say? Am I correct?!
So being sensible and sensitive! This is one function of the technology of Consciousness. Next comes Serenity in life. Everyone, at one point or another, in their lives, even for a few seconds or few minutes have felt very serene. And when you feel that serenity, you also have felt Silence, and you felt very spiritual; a deep sense of silence and serenity.
In many of our mobile phone this operation is switched off, or we have not used it at all. In our Consciousness, we have not even touched this function - and that is where The Art of Living comes. It helps you to smile more, serve more.
Do you know, a baby smiles 400 times a day. An adolescent smiles only 17 times a day, and a adult does not smile at all.
Smiling more! That is what The Art of Living brings to you!
Smiling and serving.
Being sensible and sensitive.
Experiencing silence and serenity.
That is it!
Q: Dear Gurudev, how to maintain a balance between discipline and freedom? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should know that they appear to be opposite but they are complimentary. Discipline brings freedom to us.
As a child you were disciplined to brush your teeth every morning and every night. That discipline brought you freedom from tooth ache and tooth decay, isn't that so?!
If you have the discipline of getting onto the treadmill, then that brings you freedom from cholesterol and other problems.
What is essential is both,
sensibility and sensitivity.
Totally logical, rational thinking
is essential; it creates sensibility.
Sensibility alone is not enough,
you need sensitivity. Sensitivity
is a matter of the heart. You can
be very logical but you need to
understand the view points
of others as well.
Q: What comes after everything is silenced? And how is it different from being dead? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Vast difference! Silence is the mother of all creativity! Silence is the mother of beauty and love. Intuition, invention, poetry, everything comes out of silence. Even Sudarshan Kriya came out of silence.
I know most of you have experienced Sudarshan Kriya, and you know the value of it.
I was on a tour this time, I went from South India to South Africa, and then to South America, then North America and now to Europe. All in less than one month. And you know, I visited the prisons in Brazil and in Argentina. There were 5200 prisoners in Argentina who have done the Art of Living course and the Sudarshan Kriya and there were tears in each and every one's eyes. There was not even a single person there whose eyes were dry. They were all finding such a big transformation in their lives.
They said, 'Before we were outside and we were not free. Now we are inside the jail and we are free and we are happy. Thank you so much. This course has totally changed our lives.'
Do you know, the judges of the supreme court also came to visit the prison along with me and they said, 'Gurudev, this is unbelievable, what has happened here. We wish this will repeat in all the prisons.'
Looking at this transformation, of course, the university gave me a doctorate as well.
'In one day I became an alumni of the University', I was making this joke.
Why I am saying this is, we can create a society free from violence. My vision is to see a violence-free society, disease-free body, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory and sorrow-free soul.
See what madness is happening today in the world. Just because somebody made a film, nations are all burning. Is this not madness!
Why? It is because they have not been given this education of non-violence, which is so necessary.
Q: Is it still necessary today to follow a Guru? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why this question? Asking this question you put yourself into a trap. When I give you an answer and you take it, that means you are already following!
If I say, 'No, no need to follow', and you say, 'Okay, I won't follow', then you have followed.
If I say, 'Yes', and you follow, that means you have followed.
So better I say, 'No!'
It is a very interesting question, right.
See, you need a coach to play football right. Every soccer player needs a coach. You need a coach for any games, for any music. When you go to school and you are weak in some topic then you need a coach.
Similarly, a little bit of guidance in the beginning for meditation and for learning any spirituality is essential, isn't it! And that is why it is necessary. And if you feel it is not necessary then that is up to you.
Q: How do I relieve myself from the guilt for the mistake that I have done? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Meditation!
Q: What is the major problem that needs to be solved here in Europe? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What I hear about Europe is that 30% to 40% of the population is getting depressed. So many people are taking Prozac and so many children are getting autism. This is a matter of concern. We need to attend to this.
That is why meditation, Sudarshan Kriya, The Health and Happiness workshop. When we adopt these things in life, we can be a happier society.
I am sure with these, we can create a wave of happiness.
Q: I do exercises, hence I am into controlled breathing. How is The Art of Living Course special? I feel exercise could give me what these courses do. Can you please explain how these courses could help me. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It can help you in so many ways and that is why it is so popular. If millions of people around the world are doing it, there must be something to it.
I tell you, it is very profound, intense and at the same time, simple as well.
It is not just an exercise. It is an exercise with spiritual upliftment of energy. It is for sure that when you walk out from the course, you will go with a bigger smile and contentment in your heart; adding a new dimension to life.
You know there are so many prejudices in our minds. We should let go of the prejudices. The mind has different kind of prejudices.
See, we accept food from every part of the world. We accept music from every part of the world. But when it comes to knowledge, wisdom and relating to people, we have some prejudices.
We should overcome these prejudices and feel that everybody belongs to me, the whole world is one family.