“It is all Him; and there is none other”, this is the language of devotees soaked in the love of the Divine. For them, it is God alone everywhere. Nothing exists other than God. It is the way of the devotees.
Questions & Answers
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Gurudev, my profession is such that I cannot get by without speaking lies. Is there any way by which I can do well in my profession without having to resort to telling lies?
Sri Sri: What profession is that? (Laughter) It sounds like the profession of a lawyer. See, there are many eminent and capable lawyers even today who do not take up cases which are not good (meaning cases of corrupt and false people); or cases which may harm others. Reputed lawyers first always study the case; and then evaluate if there is any probability of winning it. Only then do they take it up. So you also judge and use your discretion.
Truth when expressed through words becomes false (Meaning: Truth is that which is beyond words and is inexpressible). There is a saying from olden times – “Vachyarambhaha vikaaro naamadheya”. It means the truth, when spoken through words becomes distorted into a lie. Whatever comes into expression becomes a lie, it becomes distorted. So don’t worry. Truth is not spoken. The Truth is not that which is spoken. Truth is said to be trikaala-baadhit (relevant at all times; or meaning that the truth is beyond the past, present and the future).So that which remains the same in all the three times is the truth. So you continue your profession without any worries. Do it honestly. Surrender the rest to God.
Gurudev, what is the significance of applying tilak on the forehead (referring to the portion of the forehead between the eyebrows)? What does it represent? Married women in our country also apply the tilak. What is the reason behind it?
Sri Sri: The third eye is present there (referring to the center associated with alertness or awareness). So there is a custom of applying sandal paste or other things at the location of pineal and pituitary glands which have a great effect on our body and mind. One reason for applying the paste is to give respect to that portion of the forehead. It stimulates our attention.
Whenever you think, what do you do? Your hand automatically goes at this place. When you make a mistake, your hand goes at the head. When you think or deeply ponder over something or some problem comes then too you keep your hand like this. If you go to any country or any corner of the world, you find that everywhere people think like this. This is the seat of wisdom. It is the peetha (seat) of knowledge. That is why chandan (sandal paste), kumkum or sindoor (vermillion powder) is applied there. It is symbolic.
Gurudev, what is the meaning of Pratikraman?
Sri Sri: There is a custom in Jainism called Pratikraman (Self-introspection). Every evening before going to sleep, they sit by themselves and remember everything they have done since morning. So, they recollect and ponder upon what they did an hour or two before retiring for the night. This is called Pratikraman. This is an art of deleting any impressions that could have come in the mind or the impressions of karma. That is called Pratikraman.
Gurudev, why one should not have the desire for the fruits or results after doing one’s karma? Is it not but natural to feel so?
Sri Sri: Ok, the go ahead and keep the desire (Laughter). It is not said that you should not have the desire or expectation for the result. But you do not have any control over the result. If you get a thing even before the need/desire for it arises, it is a sign of Atibhagya (great fortune). What is the meaning of Bhagya (Good fortune)? It is when you get a thing becomes available to you even before the need for it arises. The slightly less fortunate ones are those who get a thing when they desire it. When everything becomes available even without asking, it is Siddhi (an extraordinary ability). One whose desires get fulfilled after asking is a little less fortunate than the one whose desires are fulfilled without having to even ask. And if there is someone in whose mind so many desires arise but who gets very little after so much effort, such a person is even less fortunate. One who only toils the whole life and doesn’t get the results he desires is the least fortunate of all.
Now how can one cross from one step of the ladder to the other? It is possible by Satkarma (good actions or merits). Doing Sadhana, Seva and Satsang all helps in this. How many of you feel that you get whatever you think here in your mind? (Many in the audience raise hands) For how many of you does it happen even before thinking? (Many in the audience raise hands) This is Siddhi. You all have become Siddhas (perfected beings, with extraordinary abilities). (Laughter)
Gurudev, what should one do when one feels helpless in a situation and that helplessness turns into frustration, anger and sadness?
Sri Sri: See, you are forgetting that there is a bigger power with you and which is in control. When you feel helpless then that is the best time to pray. Your prayer will be authentic and really rewarding.
Gurudev, what is the purpose of my life? Why am I here on this planet and in the same era as you are? There has to be a purpose for this life. How will I know that?
Sri Sri: There is a very good purpose. There is so much work to do; so much Seva needs to be done. Join the Volunteer for Better India initiative (VBI). There is so much Seva being done and the nation needs you. Do your Seva, Sadhana, and Satsang. Spread the joy and the knowledge that you are listening to.
Gurudev, can you please speak about the Manusmriti (Meaning “Laws of Manu”, referring to a text that expounds the code of laws & Dharma that should govern an individual and the society)? Is it relevant today?
Sri Sri: See, Manusmriti was written by a king called Manu. He was a very wise king. A few lines in the Manusmriti which talk about how women should always be protected or a little bit about caste system (referring to the prescribed nature and professions belonging to the four social classes of Hindu society); these have been misinterpreted. I would say they might be interpolated (meaning: stretched too far). But this is not a scripture of the rishis. It is by a king, so it is like a Constitution. That is all. So the Manusmriti is not an authority for the Sanatan Dharma (Vedic name for Hindu Religion). We do not need to follow it. It is like a Constitution. Like the Indian Constitution, the people in those days also made certain rules. So at that time Manu made certain rules. But it is not a universal scripture and it is not necessary for everybody to follow. It is not applicable for everyone everywhere and for all times. It is not so at all.
But there are some very good things also mentioned in the Manusmriti. It has very good knowledge. So you should take that which is relevant today and leave the rest. Our people have been following this in our country. You should always look at all the scriptures in the world with reason, with wisdom. This is what scriptures also say. They say that you should keep the Desha (country or place) and the Kaala (time) in mind when you apply knowledge or a particular scripture. This is important. Why are there so many problems in the world today? It is because some people want to implement those scriptures today which are 2000 years old or maybe 1400 years old. But they are not applicable today at all. This is the whole problem in the Middle East. Some people want to impose those rules which are not applicable for today’s time. It had relevance at that time but they are no longer relevant.
Gurudev, which one is the best expression of being human - Dhyana (meditation) or Seva (service)?
Sri Sri: Both are needed. It is like asking, is it better to watch television or listen to it. What will I say? They both go together hand in hand. What is meant by Seva? It means that whatever little bit you can do, just do it. What you cannot do, don’t do. Did you get it?
Gurudev, we prepare a variety of delicacies, even then we get bored with them. But there are many animals that eat the same fodder every day but don’t get bored. Why did God have such grace on animals?
Sri Sri: They live in present and you live in your smriti (memories).
Gurudev, it is said that one can get liberation by the knowledge of Panchanga. Please tell me what is this Panchanga?
Sri Sri: Panchanga refers to the motion of the planets and celestial bodies. Astrology itself is Panchanga (a tool used to determine and study the planetary positions and their effects upon an individual). Suppose you are angry at somebody, then you keep thinking, ‘Why did he do this to me?’ Now if you have knowledge of Jyotish (Vedic astrology) then you will understand that there is no fault of that man. You will think, ‘It happened because of some effects of the motion of some planets in my planetary chart. So I had to bear insult’. This is mukti (liberation).The mind which was entangled in Raga- Dwesha (cravings and aversions) with that person gets detached. Jyotish helps you understand that your time is bad; which is why even good people quarrel with you and if the time is good, even your sworn enemies help you in times of need. So when you understand this, then the Raga- Dwesha in your mind gets dissolved and mind becomes quiet.
What is Mukti? Suppose you drank a lot of water and you need to go to washroom to relieve yourself, but you are sitting in a meeting and are not able to go. When finally you go and come back, you feel relieved, as if to say, “Ah! I am finally liberated” (Laughter). Similar is the Mukti from hunger. Say you are sitting at one place continuously; like in a bus or train for 8 – 10 hours. The moment the bus halts, you stand up and stretch yourself, you say you got Mukti. The day the final exams get over, just see how the children come back home full of joy and how they put all their books aside; as if they got Mukti (from the routine of studies). So when some wedding or a party at home gets over and all the guests depart; you exclaim “Hai! Finally it’s over!” Is it not so?
Whenever you feel this “Hai!” (out of relaxation), just think of it as Mukti and when there is “Hai-tauba (chaos and confusion), think of it as bondage. When we are contented in life, that is jeevan-mukti (being liberated while stile living). It is a stage in which you feel – ‘I do not need anything more in this life. I am contented and I will serve others to the best of my capacity. This whole world is mine; all this is my reflection (of the Self) and my own nature.’ When you become so firmly established and strong in this knowledge from within, then contentment and joy dawns in you. All the complaints disappear. Everything becomes available even before the wish arises. Within no time, all the required knowledge comes to the mind. This all is called jeevan-mukti.
Gurudev, you are God. Then which God do you believe in?
Sri Sri: ‘Which’ God you ask? Are there many Gods? There is only one and that is in you, in me. There are no two
Gurudev, what is death? What happens to a man after dying? Some people say that one becomes a ghost; others say one goes to heaven or hell. What actually happens after death?
Sri Sri: There is so much time left to discover that. You will definitely get to know. First understand what this life is.
Gurudev, can we donate our organs after death?
Sri Sri: Yes, you can. You will not have any problems in your next life because of donating organs in this life. You will not be born as blind or crippled in your next birth. But this does not mean you will get an extra eye also (Laughter) Do not think that ‘I donated my eyes in this life, so I should have four eyes in the next!’ It will not happen that way at all.
Gurudev, it is said that there are people doing penance in the cave below the Sumeru Mantapa (a place in the Ashram). Have they not got liberated as yet?
Sri Sri: Listen, there is no soul doing penance there. There is nothing like that at all.
Gurudev, it is said that parents are our first Guru. How many people who have come here respect their parents? What would you like to say about this?
Sri Sri: Yes, definitely they should respect their parents. One should respect their parents and obey them.
Gurudev, my friend often criticizes and speaks bad things. I believe in blessings since I have done the course. I feel bad for him. What should I do?
Sri Sri: It is okay. You should not get upset with that. Okay! Just smile now.