Gurudev, someone I love has hurt me. I am finding it difficult to forgive them. What should I do?
Sri Sri: What are the options in front of you?
One is, you don’t forgive them. If it is so difficult to forgive, then don’t forgive. My concern is, are you happy and peaceful? Can you be happy, content and peaceful without forgiving? No! Then just let go!
There are many such people; there are many thorns. The nature of thorns is to prick you in your feet. Now, you remove the thorn, throw it, and walk your way. You cannot keep the thorn and keep questioning it, ‘Why did you prick me? It is nasty of you to prick me! I won’t forgive you because you are pricking me!’
The thorn will say, ‘Hey, come on, it is my nature. I can’t but do this, and I only do this! And you are questioning me, why did I prick you? Why did I ditch you? It is in my nature to ditch people. You came on my path and so we crossed each other’s paths!’
Now is it better to move on, or is it better to keep running behind them!
Why are you running behind someone who has ditched you? Why do you keep thinking about someone who has ditched you? Just throw them out! Throw them out of your life!
When you can’t forgive, you have to finish them off! If you really take a gun and finish them off, you will be finished. You will land up in jail. This is what most people do.
The intelligent one just stops thinking about them. Or they will have compassion for them and think, ‘What an ignorant person, they never had a drop of wisdom in their life. They don’t know that if you hurt someone, it is going to come back to them ten times more. They are going to suffer more. They are ignorant, and it is their nature.’
Think that is their nature, they are stupid! They don’t know what they are doing. Say, ‘I don’t want to do anything with such people. I don’t have time to think about them.’ Instead, keep yourself busy.
If you are big hearted, you will recognize that they are ignorant, they didn’t know what they were doing; out of greed or jealousy they did what they did, and you will have compassion for them.
Does this make sense?
Gurudev, I am very sad. Once again, I am going to be physically away from you. How do I overcome this feeling of separation?
Sri Sri: No, no, no. I am like the wind, and Sun and Moon; you are part of me, I am part of you. Just be happy and keep doing some good work in society. Whatever you have, you give it to everyone around you. There are so many tears to be wiped; don’t sit and worry about yourself. There are so many people who are miserable, and we can do something to bring down their misery, can’t we?
We should create waves of happiness. Wherever you are, call all your friends and family in your basement, or wherever there is space, and all of you do some Bhastrika, some stretches; dance, sing and do some meditation for 10-15 minutes. There are a number of meditation tapes. Everyone is free to take those meditation tapes and conduct meditation at your place. Or you can call a teacher; they will give an introductory talk. You can create a wave of celebration, and a wave of happiness.
Gurudev, can you please tell us about the three stages in spiritual practice?
Sri Sri: Yes, there are three stages in practice:
The first level, Anva Upaya, which includes pranayama, meditation, mantra chanting, exercises, and yoga.
The second level, Shakta Upaya. This is much more subtle; it is the stillness that you experience at the end of doing all these exercises; it is more internal.
There is very little that you do, in fact everything is happening. There is no doer there, nobody doing anything, yet, it is happening; you feel that Shakta Upaya, it is very subtle.
The third level, Shambava Upaya is a step beyond the Shakta Upaya; just recognition, just awareness. It suddenly dawns; you have no clue, you have no say in it, you can’t do anything about it.
You are walking, watching a sun set, suddenly, something happens, something opens up. You meet someone; suddenly, you feel some sense of elevation, joy.
Whether you are meditating, sleeping, or doing any work, suddenly an awareness, a wakefulness dawns in you. That is Shambhava Upaya; that happens with grace, blessings or love or something.
The first stage, Anva Upaya, is inevitable. The second stage, Shakta Upaya, is an obvious movement. The third stage, Shambhava Upaya, is a gift.
Gurudev, this is from one of the children on the Art Excel program. How does it feel to become famous and important?
Sri Sri: I want to be a kid, and I continue to be a kid. Nothing can beat the joy of being a child. And everyone should know that you should never grow up.
I feel I refuse to grow up; I want to be a kid and I will remain a kid. We all should feel that way; not bother about being grown up and famous and all that. Just innocent kids; it’s a small, small world.
Gurudev, how can I drop my attachment to the body? It seems difficult for me to realize that I am in the body, yet, not the body.
Sri Sri: You don’t have to make any effort, just wait for some time; the body will detach from you, you don’t need to detach yourself from the body.
Just relax. I think you have too much free time to keep thinking about yourself. Just get out and keep doing some good work; the world needs you, people need you.
Everyone is bestowed with some talents. These talents are not for ourselves. A musician has a good voice, not to sing in the bathroom; his good voice is to entertain others. A writer has a good grip on the language, not to write letters to oneself and keep reading; a writer’s talent is to make others enjoy and stimulate their intellect.
Similarly, if you have a good sense of humor, you can’t keep laughing at yourself; your sense of humor is of no use for yourself, it is for everybody else.
Everything that you are bestowed with is to share with others, with society. If you are a good surgeon, you can’t operate on yourself. A good surgeon’s skills and knowledge are no good to him when he needs it; he has to go to some other surgeon.
Gurudev, all my life I have been learning, exploring and analysing knowledge. When I came to the Art of Living, I was told to stop thinking, analysing and just meditate, which I am unable to do. Please help.
Sri Sri: Look, here we are thinking, analysing! You should analyse, but don’t use that machinery too much, it needs some overhauling time. Don’t you give your car for servicing, after driving it for too long? Meditation is taking your mind to the garage, for servicing.
If you keep overworking this machine of analytical thinking, it will break down. So, you need to balance. Meditation is maintenance or servicing of your intellectual machinery.Don’t discard it. We never say, ‘Don’t analyse, lock your intellect!’ Absolutely not! You must use your intellect the maximum, but time and again, you must service it.
Gurudev, according to the Law of Karma, things are destined for you based on your past actions, and the Law of Attraction says you create your own experiences, consciously or unconsciously. I am confused, please explain.
Sri Sri: There are certain karmas that you can erase. There are certain karmas that you cannot erase; they are just like exit points in the freeway, you can only exit at these points. If you miss an exit point, then you have no choice but to keep driving till the next exit point.
Life is like that; there are many choices that you can make; there are many turning points at which you can turn, but if you miss those points, you have to wait till you reach another turning point. Don’t worry; many turning points do come on the way. Now, if you are in between two turning points, then you feel helpless; and that is destiny.
Gurudev, I am thinking that life is an illusion. Is there anything we have control over in our life? Do we have control over birth and death? Please explain.
Sri Sri: Yes, we do have control. If we have no control over anything, why even ask a question? Life is a beautiful combination of both, free will and destiny. There are many things that you can do, and some things you must accept, which are beyond your control.
I have spoken all about this in ‘Celebrating Silence’ and other books; keep flipping all those pages.