Sri Sri pulls out questions from the question basket. Reads them one by one, smiles and puts the paper by his side. A child comes forward to put a no.1 sticker onSri Sri's hands.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Another year is passing by, has passed. Let uswelcome 2010. The past year has made us rich by its experiences. The problems itbrought us brought more talents from within us. Whenever problems come, they beckon more skills and talents within us and the ability to handle them. We are thankful for that. Just imagine a life without any challenges. It will be so dull. Challenges or crisis will bring up the talents within you and make you aware of the abilities you have to overcome them.
In Chinese, there is only one word for crisis as well as opportunity - because every crisis is an opportunity to exhibit your strength, skill and abilities to endure any situation, circumstance. A crisis brings up that opportunity to exhibit your skills. The moments of pleasure or joy, of course, brings you an expansion and implies that you should serve. When you are happy you contribute to the world and you serve - not just remain in your own little enjoyment. Being happy coupled with service makes your happiness rich. Trouble and misery brings the strength to let go, to renounce. It brings dispassion and from this you learn a lot.
We often get attached to misery too. You know why? When you were a child, you made a sad face, immediately someone patted you on the back and tried to cheer you up. You were crying and parents attended to you. So there is a subtle sense of wantingattention whenever you start enjoying misery. You have to get over that and growbeyond that and that is when you gain the power to renounce.
In the New Year, wish for happiness in which you can serve and share so that it grows and if any trouble or misery comes, they come, like day and night, they are part of the world, ask for the strength to be centered. Willingness to serve when joy arises should be the wish. Not that the whole year everything should be rosy, that does not really happen that way. Most of the days will be one way or another. So with this prayer or wish, you will see the days of trouble will be very few, if at all, and they will only bring about the skills from within you, make you more skillful, strong and beautiful. That's the practical way.
So the New Year, learn from the previous year and move on to the New Year knowing you are timeless and those moments of meditation that you experience that timelessness. That is when the events don’t touch you, emotions don’t shake you, thoughts don’t disturb you, nothing whatsoever throws you off balance. In that serene space that you are, repose! Then neither pleasure nor pain touches you. You go beyond the duality. More satsang and seva is the way to reduce misery. Satsang and seva. We are sofortunate. We have this opportunity to even think, discuss knowledge and have anexperience of that inner space. Imagine those billions of people who never know how to close their eyes and be peaceful, to take a dip in that inner serenity even for a moment! For us it is so natural to be happy and peaceful. For those who do not know how to be peaceful, it like those insomnia patients who are so restless and tired, so tired and exhausted with everything around them but so restless they don't know how to rest or sleep! Can you imagine that sort of situation? That's where your intervention is so precious, so much needed. Many times you don't have to talk much. Just you being around people who are not so peaceful brings them that wave of peace, that relief that they are looking for!