28 Apr 2012 - QA 1

Many people get the clarity in their mind from a young age of their passion to become doctors, engineers, teachers, etc., and they stick to it. Unfortunately I do not feel that way. I am not young anymore and this lack of direction scares me. What can I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

No, don't worry. Life is all designed.
If you don’t have the clarity of what you want to do, then meditate and go by your intuition.
I tell you, all professions are the same. People of no profession are happy. Look at doctors they are so miserable, because all their lives they have to be with sick people. For 15 hours a day they have to be with sick people and listen to all their problems, and even if they give them the solution they ask the same questions again.
If you tell somebody that you have no sickness and you are fine, even then they get angry at you. So many doctors even when you are healthy have to say, ‘No, you are sick.’ This makes them happy. And you say that this doctor is the right doctor. He knows my problem and he has diagnosed it very well.
The plight of doctors is not easy; they cannot take days off and go somewhere. In the middle of the night they have to take calls. They usually have to guess and give medicines, and then they are nervous all night. These are the secrets of the profession. When you have a headache they can give you an aspirin, but not always do they know what to prescribe for all the problems. Sometimes they just have to guess.

Look at engineers. Working with machines day and night they become like machines. They have to. They say this, I'm not saying this. Engineers themselves say it. ‘Oh, it's so boring. All day and all night, machines, machines and machines.’ Even in their dreams they see machines.
If they work in a car factory, they see cars in their dreams. Cars that is moving without people in it.
Here, someone who was working at a car factory, he said, ‘Every night I dream of cars moving on the conveyor belt, or in a truck. There are no people in it!’

Lawyers; can't even ask them of their plight. They look for some problem to happen somewhere so they can survive. If everything is peaceful the lawyers have no survival. If a fight happens between two brothers, the lawyers are happy and they are smiling. ‘Well they can come to me and I can make some money.’ Fortunately they don't have to think much because there are already enough fights in the world and everyone has to come to them.
They say, ‘Come, I will solve your problem’. But it doesn't get solved very quickly. They will postpone it. No lawyer solves any case quickly. Why will they? The longer the case goes on, it is better for them. For every appearance they can bill the client. They are not that foolish to make the case go away just like that.

You take any profession there are flaws in it.

Religious people, it is an even bigger problem.
There is a nice story in the Ramayan, do you want to hear the story?
There 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.
The dog said that the road is for everybody. He said, ‘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.

Every job, every profession, every work on this planet is not easy. Every profession is tough. No work is easy. And being the head of a religious organization is even worse because you have to take care of everybody.
If you do not look at any person then that person will complain that you did not look at me. Yesterday, you made me sad. You have come to make everybody happy but in the process you have made somebody sad.
When you look at them they are looking elsewhere, and then they want you to look at them when they look at you; or they will become unhappy! What to do? And technology has made it worse! Do you know how many e-mails I have received? About 101,000 in the last couple of weeks, and I have to go through them. Every week, about 10,000 e-mails come. Sometimes 8,000 and sometimes 2,000, it varies, but they all pile up.

So, do not worry about any profession. All professions are the same. Find some job to make your life livable. You don't have to become too greedy and you don't have to feel a sense of lack. We need to feel abundance in our mind, in our heart. Money is something which can never be enough.
If you see, even billionaires are also wondering how they can make their money grow by two-folds and three-folds. This race never ends.
I was in Davos this year and all the multi-billionaires were there. Just look into their eyes and their faces, there is no fulfillment there, there is no joy or contentment, there is no serenity and there is no sense of elevation.

Do you see what I'm saying? You can find a smile in a small hut, but you might not find a smile in a palace. You might not even find a calm mind in a palace.