Relationship Advice from Sri Sri
Chapter 1 Entering Relationships

There is confusion and chaos in the world in the name of love. Love with wisdom is eternal bliss. Love with selfishness or love for individual pleasure, sooner or later will bring misery and heartbreak. If you are in love with somebody don’t think that it will be forever, unless and until there is knowledge or wisdom in it. If your love is there to help others, nobody can destroy it, but if your love is to get something from the other, sooner or later, it will be broken into pieces.

Find out what you think love is. Do you think love is only for getting pleasure from others? If yes, then it is going to bring you pain. But if your love is there only to care, and you cannot be without it, then that is what true love is. It is your own nature. Then your relationship will be nurturing and it will last longer. So, if you are entering a relationship, go with the attitude “I am going to be a part of this person, give whatever I can, and contribute whatever I can to this person’s life”.

Love with Wisdom

Love with wisdom is what makes love eternal. Without wisdom, without an understanding of love, and without an understanding of who we are, love becomes a fleeting experience. Sri Sri shares with us pointers to develop a love soaked with wisdom, offering us a chance to build a perfect relationship with our loved ones:

#1 Extend a Helping Hand

When there is great love, you take total responsibility for any misunderstanding. You may express dismay for a moment on the surface, but when you do not feel dismay in your heart, you arrive at a perfect understanding. You are in a state where all problems and differences slide away and only love shines through.

Usually we get stuck in our differences, because we have lost sight of ourselves. In the name of love we try to manipulate and control the other person. This is natural because when we love somebody, we want them to be perfect.

You can never see the holes in the ground from the top of a hill. From a plane the earth looks so smooth. So also from a state of elevated consciousness, you do not see the pitfalls in others. But if you come to the ground you always see the holes. And when you want to fill the holes, you have to see them. You cannot build a home being airborne. You cannot till the land without looking at the holes, filling them, removing the pebbles....

That is why when you love somebody, you find all the faults in them. But finding faults destroys love. Instead of filling the holes we run away from them. When you love somebody and see their faults, stay with them and help them fill the holes. This is wisdom.

#2 Always Maintain Your Lovingness

You feel a lot of love for someone and they don't receive it, what do you do?

  • Get frustrated.
  • Turn the love into hatred and wish for revenge.
  • Again and again remind them how much you love them and how little they love you.
  • Become fussy and cranky, or throw tantrums.
  • Feel humiliated and try to protect your respect.
  • Resolve never to love again.
  • Feel hurt and mistreated.
  • Try to be aloof and indifferent.

You have seen that none of these work. They only make the situation worse. What is the way out of this? How do you maintain your lovingness?

  • Have patience and change your expression of love.
  • Be centered and limit your expression of love. Sometimes over-expression of love puts people off.
  • Take it for granted that they love you too and accept their style of expression. Like a mother's love which is the same irrespective of the child's behavior.
  • Turn your demand into gratefulness. The more you are grateful in life, the more love comes your way.
  • Know that hurt is part of love and take responsibility for it. When you move away from your center, you will definitely get hurt. The nature of worldliness is misery.

One must maintain a positive outlook towards the expression of love. It’s a delicate thing. You cannot force someone to love you. It’s impossible. It’s also impossible to force yourself to love somebody. It all has to dawn from within in a natural and delicate manner. This is where you need skill, and the skill comes to you from wisdom.

#3 Express Just Enough Love

When there is a lot of love, we should not express our love too much. Love and admiration can become a burden, and when this happens, people try to unburden themselves by running away from it. Many love relationships fall apart because of this -- one partner expresses too much love towards the other, and the other is not able to handle it, and runs away!

Love should be planted like a seed. If you sow the seed too deep into the earth, then it won’t sprout. And if you keep it on the surface of the mud, then also it won’t sprout, it won’t take roots. We should take a middle path -- express a little, but not too much. We shouldn’t talk too much about love because it is inexpressible, actually! Excessive expression diminishes our depth, luster and serenity.

#4 Be Centered

Have you noticed what you do when you find something beautiful, or when you love something? You want to hold on to it and posses it. Trying to posses love robs the beauty from love and makes love ugly. Then that same love gives you pain.

Whenever you love somebody, you try to dictate terms to them. In a subtle way, you try to control them. Whatever you try to control, hold on to or manipulate, turns ugly because the little 'I' in us itself is ugly. When you try to posses something, your love is lost.

Love that has a fear of losing somebody or something does not blossom. It becomes ugly, and jealousy comes. As long as you stay caught up in this pettiness, there is no joy, happiness, or peace. Joys is an expansion; it is becoming big in your heart. This can only happen in a situation where you are in so much love but you don't try to posses it.

You need to learn a new way: to love and still be centered!


Q: How do I know that I am in love, what are the signs?

When you love someone you don't see anything wrong with them. Even if you see some fault in them, you justify the fault and say, "Well, everyone does it! It is normal".

Then you think you have not done enough for them. The more you do, the more you want to do for them. And they are always on your mind. You want to see them happy, you want them to have the best, and you get hurt even over small things. Ordinary things become extraordinary when you are in love.

Q:I am attracted to someone, but I don't know if I should tell her how I feel. I want to be in love.

If you express your feelings, you will ruin it. You don't need to tell somebody that you love them. If they are sensitive, they can feel it. Once you tell them your feelings, it changes everything.

Your existence is love. You breathe and there is love. Real intimacy is knowing that you are already intimate and relaxing about it, never trying to convince the other that you are intimate, never trying to express yourself too much. So simply smile, and allow them to become intimate by themselves.

It’s natural when you feel intimate that you want a response from the other person, you would like the other person to feel intimate too. Let them take their time. Don't be in a hurry to express your intimacy.

Q: How do I know if the woman in my heart really loves me 100%?

I have no idea, nor do you have any idea. Just take a chance. Even if she loves you 90%, it is good enough.

Suppose someone asks you the same question, what would you say? You cannot guarantee your own love for someone is 100%. Maybe this moment, yes, you can, but what is the guarantee next month? I tell you, you cannot guarantee you own mind. You don’t know your own mind. How do you expect to know someone else’s mind?

When you have no control over your own mind, you cannot control somebody else’s mind.
It is impossible! Just know one thing — whatever is yours will always be yours. Whatever moves away from you was never yours even before. If you know this, you will be at peace. And when you feel peaceful from within, then the whole world belongs to you. But if you are not peaceful, then however hard you try to own somebody, they will just slip away. That is why this spiritual knowledge is so essential, because it cannot only bring you the inner strength, but also makes you the center of your universe. You will be so centered that everything will come to you naturally.

In the Bhagavad Gita, there is a beautiful verse that says, "One who is established in the higher consciousness, fulfillment will come towards him like a river that flows into the ocean". All the rivers flow into the ocean, it is natural. In the same way, one who is established in the big mind, all their desires get fulfilled effortlessly. That is why yoga, meditation and spiritual knowledge are important.

A person who runs behind desires gets nothing in their hands. So let go and take refuge in the quiet corner of your heart and then everything will be yours. .

Q: How to build a real, pure relationship?

Best not to try to build a relationship, just be yourself; be natural and be simple and a relationship will develop naturally. If you try to build a relationship, that is when you become a little artificial. Then your behavior becomes artificial, not natural.

Just imagine someone is trying to impress you, don’t you notice that? If someone is trying to impress  you, what do you do? You move away. What you like, that is what others like as well. You like someone to be very honest, open, natural, unassuming with you, correct? That is exactly what the other also wants from you. Don’t try hard to impress your girlfriend or boyfriend. Best is to be yourself, be forgiving and be in the present moment.

Q: How do I recognize my soul mate?

First you should recognize your soul and then your soul mate. You don’t know anything about yourself, you don’t know who you are. You don’t know your mind. Your own mind drives you crazy. One minute it wants something and the next minute it wants something else. That is why it is said, "Your own mind is responsible for your bondage and for your liberation, nothing else".

A relationship can either take the form of strength or weakness depending on the mind. If the mind is strong then a relationship can be like a gift, but if the mind is weak and not in control, then a relationship can feel like bondage.

Don’t be too fussy, and keep waiting for some perfect life partner. If you get a perfect person, they will also be looking for a perfect life partner. Are you that perfect person? Look for a good person and get married. Even if you get somebody who is not up to your mark, I tell you, you have the ability to change them! Believe in this and move on.

When you are centered, when you are choiceless, then everything happens in your way.

Q: How do I know if I am deeply in love with a person or if it is just an attachment?

Time will tell. Always know that there is a sense of sacrifice in love, while attachment only brings misery. In the name of love, if you fall into an infatuation or attachment, then you will only get misery. But in true love, even sacrifice brings contentment. Love brings sacrifice and contentment, while attachment and feverishness can only bring misery.

Q: How do we judge whether somebody loves us truly?

From whomever you receive love, just know that it from the divine. You are getting love from the one supreme energy. All your affection is also is toward that one energy only, and you are simply receiving its love through this person or that person. Know this and relax!

Whether a person is true or false, right or wrong, don’t fall into these traps of the mind.
If you get sunlight through the window, know that the light is coming from the sun. It is not the light of the window. Understand this much and relax.

Q: How do I be a good life partner?

Maybe you can try this: whomsoever you choose as your life partner, contribute towards their life and don’t demand anything. The moment you start demanding, you become miserable. Win them over with your service and your love.

Q: I am scared of commitment. How do I get over that?

If someone tells you, "I will take you to a movie tomorrow", and you wait for them at the movie theater and they don't show up, how would you feel. Just put yourself in the receiver’s chair, and then you will see how important it is to be committed.

A commitment can only be felt when it oversteps convenience. That which is convenient is not commitment. Often, what is convenient does not bring comfort, but gives an illusion of comfort. Also if you are too stuck in commitment, and it is very inconvenient, you are be unable to fulfill your commitment and will feel frustrated. Wisdom is to strike a balance between convenience and commitment.

Q: Is having two relationships wrong? Is it necessary to get physical in a relationship?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Listen, would you like your spouse, or boyfriend, or girlfriend to have two relationships? First you answer that! What you are doing, would you like someone else to do the same thing to you? Can you accept it? Your mind will say no, right? It is better to be loyal in one relationship. It is no good to hurt two people at the same time.

Q: Can you make someone fall in love with me and stay?

Someone asked this question to God. First he said, "God, can you make a road from Europe to North America?"
God said, "It is very difficult".
Then he said, "Okay, if that is difficult, can you make someone fall in love with me and stay?"
To this God said, "Okay, I will grant you your previous boon The first one sounds more possible. Tell me how soon you want the bridge to be made".

Quotes on Entering Relationships

“Love is your true nature. Life itself is love.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"Love with selfishness, or love for individual pleasure, sooner or later will bring misery and heartbreak.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"If you feel love for someone, don't think you can take credit for it. If you are in love with somebody, that is also a gift.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"From whomsoever you receive love, just know that it is from the divine. Whether the person is true or false, right or wrong, don't fall into these traps of the mind. If you get sunlight through the window, know that the light is coming from the sun. It is not the light of the window.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"From whomsoever you receive love, just know that it is from the divine. Whether the person is true or false, right or wrong, don't fall into these traps of the mind. If you get sunlight through the window, know that the light is coming from the sun. It is not the light of the window.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"Love is the most powerful thing on the planet. Do not let anybody, any situation, any cause, or any reason destroy that.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"We should not express love too much. Like people don't know how to handle anger and hatred, they also don't know how to handle too much love. This is the reason why people run away. So, be very measured in your expression of love.” SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR