We all came to this planet as babies. We all carried smiles, joy and a sense of belongingness with everybody. Isn't that so? But as we grew older somewhere we lost that smile, we lost that friendliness and we lost that love for everyone.
What happened? This is what we need to enquire.
Can we become like a child again from inside?
We usually use coconut as an example of how life should be. A coconut has a husk around it, and when it falls from a high level it doesn't break. It has a shock absorber or cushion. So if our behavior is friendly, wise, and if we live a life where we are free from stress, it acts like a shock absorber. Wisdom is the best shock absorber. Our body should be like the coconut shell – strong, and our mind like the kernel inside – white and soft. And our feelings like the water deep inside – sweet. If it is the other way around then it is a problem. If the body is soft and weak, mind is harsh like a shell and there are no feelings, they are all dried up then life becomes a burden. And that is the reason why so many people commit suicide and people get depressed. Isn't it?
So we need to bring this change in ourselves, in the society and in our families, where we hold on to the values.
This afternoon when I was talking to the press they were telling me that Taiwan is losing its traditional values. I said they should hold on to their roots. Taiwan has a very long history of values and these values should be nurtured and preserved. Especially family values are very important. Personal integrity is very important. Don't you think so?
These cultural values need to be strengthened, at the same time dynamic progress, which Taiwan is anyways doing. Taiwan is very dynamic. And I also say that Taiwan has the most enthusiastic volunteers. In all our international programs, there is a group from Taiwan which is all the time full of energy and enthusiasm. And when the people of Taiwan go anywhere in the world, they always carry gifts. Everyone caries some gift. This joy in sharing is very precious and is original to this culture. We need to maintain the values which are very good and very great to each culture. We can only do all that when we are free from stress and our mind is at peace.
When Lord Buddha was in India, he traveled for forty years. He simply said, let us keep the philosophy on one side and understand one thing – there is sorrow, and there is a way to get rid of sorrow. It is possible to get rid of sorrow and become free from inside.
This message is universal, and this message is what we need today. We need to create a society free from stress and violence, and the way for it is through meditation.
Many times when we sit for meditation, the mind goes all over the place. That is where Sudarshan Kriya, which is a breathing technique, and yoga, both of these help the mind to calm down and become serene.
When your mind is serene and settled, and when you don't want anything for yourself, you gain this amazing power to bless others. When your mind is hollow and empty and when someone wants something and you bless them, it will happen. We have made a blessing course; once you attend this course for 4 to 5 days then you can start blessing people.
I spoke to one of the leading scientists in the world and do you know what this man said? He said, ‘I studied matter for 30 years only to find out it doesn't exist.’
He is a quantum physicist, and he says that these days whenever he gives talks, people ask him if he is teaching Buddhism or something like that?
He said, ‘These days when I give my lectures, people feel I am talking about Buddhism or Vedanta.’ Vedanta and Buddhism talk about the same thing; both talk about that inner consciousness, only in a slightly different way. The emptiness in Buddhism is the fullness in Vedanta. That is all.
So matter and everything is vibrations, and these vibrations keep changing, and it can change our life. It can change or bring what we desire or what we want for us. So when your mind is in the space of total fulfilment, you can bring fulfillment to others.
So today I want you to drop all your worries and problems here. I have come to collect all your worries. All that I want from you is for you to be happy.
Every day, for ten minutes meditate and become hollow and empty. Personal development is very important for everyone.
See, whatever and wherever we are, we should be able to do some service to society. Share our life with everyone. And whenever you have any difficulty or trouble don't think you are alone. You are not alone. Okay! You will be able to pass through any tough times that come with a smile. Yes! We need to make our spirit, mind and body strong and our bonding with people around us healthy and strong. This is what is The Art of living. Violence free society, disease free body, confusion free mind, inhibition free intellect, trauma free memory and sorry free soul. I feel this is the birth right of everybody.
So today, give me all your problems and go back with a smile.
Taiwan is a small country with a strong economy. If all of us here put a little effort we can make Taiwan strong in happiness as well.
We can think of a Taiwan free of crime; no violence, no unhappiness, no suicide. I want to see such a Taiwan. This is my dream for Taiwan. If we can achieve something like this in the next two years, it will be a very ideal situation in Taiwan, and this could become an example for all other nations to follow.
Do you know, the happiest country in the world is Bhutan. It is a Buddhist country and people are very simple there. Everybody believes in non-violence and in happiness. Bhutan is number one in happiness. Recently, couple of days ago, there was a seminar at the United Nation on happiness. It is not enough to have a high GDP but you also need to have a high GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness).
In fact, I was supposed to attend this program at the United Nation. The Prime Minister of Bhutan had invited me, but since I was committed to come here to South East Asia, to Singapore, Bali and then Taiwan, I said I cannot cancel my travel but I am taking the same message to all these countries.
So now today I am thinking we should have a dream, all of us collectively think, in the next two years, how we can all reach out to people and teach them how to get rid of stress and be happy. In schools, in colleges, at homes, we can have only celebrations.
See life from a broader perspective. 80 years of life we are living, is it worth being stressed, unhappy? In this short span of life, we should spend our time being happy and making others happy. Don't you think so? Let us all today have this dream.
So there are two things, a bigger dream for the country or the world. Another is your individual needs or desires that you have. Both can be fulfilled. You focus on a bigger dream and leave the small dream to me. Okay!
So today, since we meditated together, we are entitled to ask for one wish. Tonight, before going to bed you can think of that one wish. Think about the wish, let go and then sleep well.
Now, everyday take out some time and meditate, and commit yourself to do some service. At least four hours of service a month.
We have a big vision to create a stress free and violence free Taiwan. So we can go around in groups of 15 to 20 people and inspire people to be happy. We will create a wave of happiness in Taiwan.
Q: Today since I dropped my botheration in the basket, tomorrow when I wake up, will it disappear?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You have dropped the botheration in the basket, now don't carry it in your mind. I can't tell you how long it will take, may be today or tomorrow or in 10 days or 12 months, but definitely the botheration will be over.
Q: How can I become like you? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you were a child you were like me. I am a baby who refuses to grow up. Inside you there is still a child, just recognize it. Become hollow and empty.