‘Think of serving, that is the right direction for every individual’
Bangalore (India), May 20 (Wednesday): “First you should think, what can I do for this world? The people who only think, ‘What can I get from this world?’, become sad. Think of serving, that is the right direction for every individual.
If you want to reach somewhere but are going in the wrong direction, you won’t be able to reach there, right? If every member in a family, thinks, ‘What can I do for the other?’, then the family moves ahead. A family that doesn’t think that way will break.
This is the state of business companies. Everyone wants to reap benefits. If four people start a company, and each partner thinks, ‘How much can I get from it?’, the company won’t work… it will be handicapped!
Don’t have any expectations from others. Fulfill the expectations of other people to the best of your ability; do whatever good you can do.
Whom do you want to be friendly with? When you believe that the other person doesn’t want anything from you. When people see that you want something from them, they will run away. Who will sit next to a thief?
Know this: Society does not expect anything from you, other than what you are capable of. If you are not a doctor, no one will expect you to treat them. If you know you can’t do something, then relax, don’t do it. However, it is wrong to not do something that you are perfectly capable of.
Know this: However good you are, society assumes you are better than your good qualities, and however bad you may be, society assumes you are better than your worse qualities. This is the law of Nature.
There are some people who don’t think this way. Everyone is a thief in their eyes, and a bad person. That is their problem.
We have to instill a sense of belongingness in society. No one should be an untouchable in society, even in politics.
Human beings have the unique gift of being able to connect with other. Even birds, and animals have this ability. An elephant forms a bond with the mahout. Dogs, and cows form bonds with their owners. Every creature has this strength, it is especially strong in human beings. We have to nourish this aspect in ourselves - one who has no enemies – ajath shatru. This is not difficult. We only need to have this intention.
You don’t have to go to the Himalayas for that. Some people remain angry even after meditating for long periods of time. Arrogance about spiritual practices, is the worst type of arrogance. The fruits of spiritual practices (tapasya) are love, and a sense of belonging.
What does tapasya mean? The ability to remain calm in the midst of a storm is tapasya. Life gives you many opportunities to practice tapasya.
Let’s go through the points again. What did you understand?
First: What can I do for the society? Don’t worry about your needs. Your needs will be taken care of, even before the need arises in you! This is called siddhi.
Second: Society wants only that from us, which we are capable of giving.
Third: Society believes that you are better than what your best qualities, and better than your worst qualities. So forget about what society thinks.
Just concentrate on what you can do for society. Thinking in this direction is sadhana. When you celebrate sadhana, it is called satsang.
Often people say, “Look at him, he’s doing sadhana.” But when you look at him, he looks unenthusiastic, and tired.
A person who does sadhana should be bright, and cheerful. True sadhana is that which makes you, and others happy. That is utsav (celebration).
Nowadays people who celebrate, and party are not happy. They spend money, time, and energy. You show off, and get tired. Your display of wealth does not benefit you, only makes others envious.
Q: I am 23 years old. How do I know when should I listen to my heart, and head? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: For work, use your head; for seva, use your heart. For business, use your head and lock your heart at home!
Q: Tell us the secret of sankalap siddhi (power of the intention)? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: hen there is surrender alongwith having an intention, then it easily bears fruit. It is very easy for intentions to get fulfilled when there is surrender. Thus when intentions are fulfilled without effort, it is called Naishkarmya Siddhi. There are many references to Naishkarmya Siddhi in Vedanta. Even Adi Shankaracharya has spoken extensively on this – getting siddhi (result) without the need to act. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t work for it. You have to put in effort.
Q: Does God sleep, and get tired of us? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: God sleeps only in India. Here, as we know that God is sleeping, we don’t have any fear. We believe that since God is sleeping, we can get away with anything.
This is a very deep topic. God is sleeping, and you are awake. Yet, you wish God a Good Morning, sing Suprabhatams, Balaji Suprabhatam, do Devi jagran. Scholars have established this –Humanity wakes up first and then they awaken God. This is a unique ritual among humans. Yet, there is something very subtle in this. These rituals signify that:
In a stubborn individual, awaken humanness. In a human being, awaken the Divinity.
Like a seed that sprouts into a bud first, and then a flower, a human being blossoms only when humanness, and Divinity is awakened.
God is present in every cell of your body. We think God is resting because he is tired. But no! Lord Vishnu (a Hindu God) is depicted lying down, and a lotus comes out of his navel, followed by Brahma. Creation came later, first the strength to nurture was born. (In Hindu philosophy, Vishnu is considered to be the Sustainer of the Universe.)
Many people believe that God is tired after working. No, no! For God, creation is effortless. Like for a housewife, making tea is effortless – she can talk, sing and still make the tea.
Q: I feel that spirituality, and politics have separated in today’s world. How will the two meet? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Spiritualize politics. We must also encourage spiritual people to take an interest in politics. They shouldn’t think that it is dirty, and for corrupt people.
Any post – a minister’s, chief minister’s or an officer’s post – is to serve others, not to enjoy your life. You get the post so that you can serve the citizens. It should be treated like seva. You have to neither hold on to it nor run away from it.
Leaving a rank is not about leaving prestige or position. This should be understood. Politics is supposed to be an important limb in the administration of a country. In ancient times, kings, and ministers used to take a keen interest in spirituality. Those who were not spiritual, were unable to support society’s progress.
Leaders should have five types of qualities: satya-darshi (truthful), sam-darshi (equanimous), priya-darshi (pleasant), paar-darshi (transparent) and door-darshi (visionary). Then the country can progress.”