3 November 2012 - QA 2

Gurudev, what is the relevance of aagraha (persuasion), nigraha (restraint) and anugraha (blessing) in our life?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Each has its own position and significance.

Life runs on anugraha, blessings. Nigraha, which means restraint gives you joy and happiness in life. We also need aagraha or insistence sometimes.

If a mother does not insist, then children do not walk on the right path. If a father does not insist or persuade his children, then they do not get any direction in life. In this way aagraha is also important.

Similarly, if knowledgeable people do not insist on standing up against injustice, then injustice continues to spread in the society. If we do not insist on opposing ignorance, then ignorance will grow. So, it is important to insist on removing injustice and ignorance from the society.

One needs to exercise nigraha, restraint over the mind. Thousands of thoughts come to the mind. Sometimes people are troubled with the thoughts that come to their own mind. If you do not exercise restraint on the thoughts that come to the mind, then you will go insane and get admitted to a mental hospital. So restraint is very necessary. (If you start acting on every thought that comes to your mind, then you will surely get admitted in a mental hospital)

We also need to exercise restraint upon our senses.

For example, our mind urges us to eat more, although our stomach says that it is full. This happens many times.

There is a disease called Bulimia, which is prevalent in foreign countries, not as much in India. In Bulimia, one first has his meal and vomits it all out. Then again they eat and vomit it all out. This way they eat six or more times and vomit it all out. In the long run the food pipe gets completely damaged and burnt.

People who have this disease stay very disturbed from within. By doing pranayama, meditation and regular Sudarshan Kriya, many people are able to come out of this. So, Bulimia is a disease where the desire to eat is so high, but there is no contentment in the mind. This is why it is necessary to exercise restraint over the senses.

When a person does not exercise restraint over his senses, he lands up in a hospital with illness, or in jail. Exercising restraint can save oneself from both these situations.

Anugraha (blessing) brings contentment in life. If you have experienced some joy or comfort in life, it has come only through blessings. When knowledge dawns in us, we are able to recognize and become aware of the blessings in our life.

Whatever we have received, wherever we are in life today, all this has come only from blessings. This feeling provides a sense of completeness to life.