Relationship Advice from Gurudev
Chapter 5 Getting Over a Broken Heart

Relationships cause you so many problems and you get so heartbroken. When a relationship breaks down, you get so devastated as though you cannot exist anymore. At that time, it is wisdom that can give you the strength to move on.

The other day when I was in California somebody said, "I am devastated, my relationship ended. We were together for so many years and he left me.”

I told her, "My dear, there are seven billion people on the planet, and a third of them are of a marriageable age. Don’t worry, you will only get a better person. Move on!"

Just that one word of encouragement and she lit up and got the confidence, "Yes, so what if he left me, he does not know my worth, he is a fool.”

So just move on! You don’t have to say bad things and call him a rogue, or a cheater. If you call him a cheater, you are going to get more upset. And you never know, the other can say, "Well, you are so dumb to get cheated. Why don’t you look inside?"

So you cannot correct the other person, but you can definitely correct yourself. Move on with a fresh heart, with a lighter heart, and with a happier heart, instead of cribbing and calling him a cheater and all these things. Otherwise he has left you and gone but you have not left him, you have put him in your head and have spoiled your mind.

Wake up and see, before the relationship, you were alive and kicking, you were laughing, smiling, and happy. Remember the days before you met the person and started your relationship. Life was okay. So it will be okay afterwards as well.

You may have lost out on your relationship, but don’t lose your smile! If you keep the smile, then someone else will come into your life. Otherwise, who will come and make friends with a depressed person? If you are depressed then you won’t find another boyfriend or girlfriend! Nobody will get charmed by a person who has a long face. When you are looking for a companion, enthusiasm and smiles are exactly what you need.


#1 Cheating Partner

Q: How to treat a cheating spouse. Do I ignore and wait till they do this again or leave them?

Well, first of all, don’t label them as a cheating spouse, know they are your spouse. If they have cheated in the past, they have done it out of some temptation, some ignorance, or some situation you don’t know what. But, with your love and compassion, with your love and support you can change them, and make them become more sincere.

If there is ever a competition between truth and love, it is love that will win. Truth will fail. Why does someone lie to you? It is because they feel that by telling the truth they may lose your love. A husband tells lies to his wife because he doesn’t want to lose the love of his wife. So love is more important than truth and that is why lies come.

If you give your spouse the assurance that no matter what the thing is, if they tell the truth, your love will never go down or you will not stop loving them, then they will never lie to you. They will come and confess every mistake and everything they do to you.

In ancient days this is what they used to do, because divorce was a remote possibility. People never used to divorce each other, so husbands would come and confess to the wives all the mistakes they made. The thinking was – “anyways she is not going to leave, she is going to be with him, so might as well tell her everything and keep my mind clear and feel free”. This is what people used to do if at all they committed any mistakes, or any adultery.

The main issue is -- do you have that power, that love to transform him or her? Do you have that patience to accommodate them, understand where they come from instead of just accusing them, pointing a finger at them, look you have cheated? If someone is cheating why are they doing that?

Like a mother, if your son or daughter is making a mistake, don’t you go into the root of it, "What made my son do this?” You don’t just accuse them and push them out, you go into the reason, the cause of why your child is doing that. You have to treat your spouse also like a child. Here in the west, mothering means showing authority, but mothering is a very positive term in the east. Mothering means not only as a companion but also a protector, one who takes care in all ways.

Q: Is it possible to restore trust in a relationship after a partner cheats? How to get past a cheating partner?

I can tell you one thing, suppose you were in your partner’s place and you made a mistake unknowingly, or due to some compulsion, and your partner does not forgive you and holds it against you, how would you feel? Get into your partner's shoes and see.

If you were the person who made that mistake, and your partner is not forgiving you, would you feel okay, or would you beg your partner to give you one more chance? This is good enough for you to take the cue.

You expect your partner to behave in an enlightened way. This is expecting too much from your side. If they have made a mistake once or twice, you should forgive them and give them another chance. This is why spiritual knowledge and the spiritual path is so essential, because it helps people grow in integrity and in honesty. Without this there cannot be honesty. 

If they have made a mistake, your bigness is in forgiving them. You should not make them feel guilty all the time. If they have done some mistake, you should say, "Never mind, forget it! Let us move on". But instead what do we do? We walk with a finger pointed towards them, which says, "You did it!" Then how can they be friendly with you?

Nobody wants to cheat anyone. It is a temptation or a craving for something more that drives a person to do unethical things. Your soul does not stop until it finds itself, until it finds the ocean of joy. Until then, it keeps going for something more, thinking, "I may get something here". This is what drives a person.

Q: My partner cheated on me. When I confronted him, he says, ‘You do not possess me'. What to do in such a situation?

When someone is cheating on you and their mind is going towards someone else, what do you do? Just pray, have patience and understand their mind. Give them three warnings, and even then if they don’t listen, then take some drastic steps. 

Q: If love is our true nature then why does it feel so good to hurt the one who has hurt me? How do I stop myself from retaliating

Do you want the chain to continue? You hurt them, they hurt you, you hurt them and they retaliate again. Do you like to be retaliated against? I am asking you a question.

If you have made a mistake unintentionally and the other person starts retaliating because you did something wrong; because whatever you said or did hurt them deeply, and so they want to take revenge, what would be the state of your mind? How would you like it? Why don’t you get into the other person’s shoes and see for a minute? You wouldn’t want that. You would say, "No, I asked forgiveness. I asked to be pardoned".

Just imagine if someone refuses to pardon you for things which you did unintentionally, or out of ignorance, would you like it? When you like to be forgiven, how come you don’t want to forgive?  

And enjoying hurting others is not the right thing. It is simply you wanting attention, that is all. This you need to correct. This is your mind’s sickness. It is the sickness of your own mind to be happy making someone miserable. What do you call it? Sadistic! How can enjoying someone’s suffering make you happy? That type of joy is not for you, no! It appears to be a joy momentarily but it comes back to you a million times more, so don’t go for it. There are better ways of joy. When you forgive, see what big joy, what big comfort it brings to you.

When someone comes and apologizes, it is our magnanimity to say, "Okay, never mind".
I tell you, our magnanimity is in forgiving, and that is what we do. But if they continue to do wrong, if they don’t respect your forgiveness, then take a stick. Then go, challenge them; go to court or whatever. But you should give ample chances for them to correct themselves.

Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, it should not be taken for granted. At the same time, not forgiving, doesn’t show or speak very well of you.

#2 Ending a Relationship

Q: How can I know if it is the right time to separate from someone? I have been struggling with one relationship for almost five years now. It has become one of the biggest struggles of my life.

I would say, ask yourself, have you given your 100% to the relationship. If you feel that you haven’t, then give it another try. And not just for one or two months, give it enough time, and give enough space for the other person to grow to your level, or for you to grow to their level. If it doesn’t work and if it is still only a struggle with no hope of some pleasure or some joy, it is better you go your way and still be friends, rather than making things very sour.

Don’t waste your life; move on! There are so many things to do in life besides a relationship, so don’t get stuck.

Q: You have told us how to be in a relationship. Please tell us, how to come out of the relationship?

You have already come out of it! When you want to come out of it, it is already done, isn't it?
The main thing is to relate yourself to the divinity. If you have a relationship with the divine, you have a relationship with everyone. Then the question of establishing or breaking a relationship with anyone does not arise.

In attempting to break also, one may get stuck badly. The more the mind tries to break away the more it gets pulled towards the relationship, and experiences pain. You neither want to stay nor leave. In leaving one feels as though some comfort is being lost, and in staying, the pain gets too intense and it is hard to stay on. So it is better to secure a relationship with the divine. This way, relationships with everyone else are automatically established.

Q: What to do if I cannot let go of a very painful relationship? I just cannot let go.

Okay, what can you do? Hold on to it! How much can you hold on? Sooner or later you have to let go, and the faster you do it, the better it is. And what can help you to do it faster is wisdom. Wake up and see everything is changing.

Also, meditation will definitely help. I usually say that we repair the broken hearts here. They get back to the very same position they were in in the beginning. No scars and no pain.

#3 Divorce

Q: Please talk on the subject of divorce. When is it a good thing? Or is it always to be avoided?

You should ask yourself, “Have you put your 100% to make the marriage work? Have you done all that you could to please your spouse and make them happy, and still it has not worked?”

Marriage means sacrifice. Sacrificing your desires for the good of the other and for the sake of the whole family. If you only keep thinking about your own wants then no marriage will work. You should see what “we” want. How “we” can progress and bring happiness to the family. Only if you keep your attention on that, will the marriage be successful.

So if you have done your 100% and still it doesn’t work, and you find that you are totally incompatible, then instead of being in hell and both suffering, with a good understanding you say, "We cannot get along so you walk your way and I walk my way. Let’s be friends and be happy".

So, one must part with this understanding. There is no point in living in a furnace all day and all night. But not like this gentleman who said that they had been married for forty years and suddenly after forty years, they realized that they we were never compatible. He is already seventy years old, and has been married for forty years and now he says, "We were never compatible.” Never mind, bear it for another five to ten years. Anyway, they say marriages are made in heaven, so when you go up there, you can resolve it.

My dear, when you go through a bad phase in your life it appears like everything is dark and nothing was right at any time. But if nothing was right, you could never have tolerated it for forty years. Something must have been right somewhere that kept you going.

Q: If marriages are made in heaven, then why do so many divorces happen on Earth?

Somewhere we are losing patience. We want everything immediately, and we want quick results and quick changes.

In our Canadian organization, we had a president for a long time, around 10-12 years ago. She was an 82 year old lady. She used to tell me, "Gurudev, if one cannot row one boat they cannot row any other boat. Even if you change the boat, you will not learn how to row the boat". So she said, "I’ve realized that, and so I’m rowing the same boat for the last 45 years!" And she introduced her husband.

Q: I got divorced four years ago and got remarried less than a year ago. I see that the same situations are repeating in my life. Is this karma or am I not able to apply the knowledge?


You will know this better. See what mistakes you are making. Do you have acceptance? Do you serve a person? Why would someone not like to be with you if you are a fountain of joy and enthusiasm? Why would someone not like to be with you if you are full of love and service, if you are hollow and empty, if you are in wisdom and knowledge? Everyone will want to spend time with you. So keep yourself soaked in wisdom day and night.

#4 How to Let Go

Q: How should I forget my ex-boyfriend?

One fine morning, maybe tomorrow morning, you wake up and see that there are 7 billion people on this planet. Of these 7 billion, nearly half of them are men, which is 3.5 billion. Of the 3.5 billion, maybe 1 billion are old people. So leave them out. Now, you have 2.5 billion people more on this planet to choose from, and they are one better than the other. So drop that one who is really a rotten apple. There are plenty of good apples. Look at them all, and pick one!

Q: How to let go of people who are no more in our life?

Expand your vision about yourself, about life and about this universe.

This universe has been there for at least 19 billion years, and it is part of billions of galaxies. One amongst the billion galaxies is our Milky Way. So the Milky Way is actually very small. In the Milky Way, we have our solar system, which is the size of a dot in the Milk Way, and in that, there is our planet Earth, and in that there is you! One would have to take a lens to see you, and by the time they get to see you, you’re already gone (referring to the magnanimity of the universe in comparison with our existence).

What is your life in comparison to the creation? In this multi-verse, planet Earth is so insignificant, and you are even more insignificant.

Another factor is time. In so many billions of years, billions of people have walked this planet. There are seven billion people on this planet today, and many are being born every day and many are dying. Then what is your life? It’s like a blink of the eye, and you’re already gone! When you see your life from this bigger context, you realize that this is all nothing!

You live for 80 years on this planet called Earth. Out of that, 35 years you spend sleeping, 10 years you spend in the bathroom, 10 years you spend eating, 25 years you spend working. The waking period in your life is so small. In that little time what is the point of saying, ‘Me, me, me?’ It is nothing! When you see life from a bigger context all the worries disappear and a new dimension opens up.

Q: The love of my life has told me that she is in love with someone else. She met him about five months ago. What should I do? I love her dearly and I don't want to lose her. She has asked me to wait for her while she makes up her mind. Should I wait or should I let go?


All that I can say is take some time out and be silent. Think about your life, about how it was in the past. When that person was not there in your life, even then you were happy? If that person had kindled some spark in you, made you experience some love, just thank her. In the future without her also your life will continue,

I tell you, you will only go up. If that person goes away, you will get a better person. This is for sure. Know that you are the center, okay! Don’t put your soul into the other person, keep it in yourself. And if that person comes back, fine, otherwise, move on.

This wisdom will help you not to have that love turn into hatred. Often people love somebody and that turns into such bitterness and hatred that it is unbelievable. So don’t let that happen.

If you love somebody, let go. If it is yours, it will come back to you. If it doesn’t come back, it never was yours. Know this and move on.

Q: What do you do when the one you love is in love with someone else?>

Know that it is a test for your love to be unconditional. They are giving you an opportunity to be unconditionally in love.

You can use it for your benefit to become stronger and grow in love, or you can get upset, angry, frustrated and jealous. What would you prefer? To grow in jealousy and get all those jealous feelings inside of you; feel bad, upset and spoil your vibrations, or to be happy for someone else, wish the best for the person you love!

I know the second option is difficult, but the first is not easy either. It is even more difficult to bear the jealousy and walk around with it, isn’t it? Think about it.

Anyways, life is short. Everything is going to finish one day. Whenever anything disturbs you, you feel injustice, uncomfortable, or you feel you can’t sleep or can’t handle it, remember it is all going to end! Everything is going to finish, and you will be gone from here. You will be able to sleep well. This is dispassion, and dispassion is needed in life.

Q: How to get the strength to raise two young kids after losing my husband in a foreign land?

You should know that God is with you. There is a higher power that will hold your hand through the whole journey. You will be able to overcome the crisis and be successful in it.

You know, I was in Kurdistan, in Iraq, and about 1.5 million refugees are living there. You should see the pathetic conditions they were in. When ISIS came, they were made to run to the Sinjar mountain and they were there without food and water. They had nothing. The Art of Living volunteers collected 120 tons of food and air lifted it to them, otherwise 15,000 people would have vanished! In that desperate situation see how help came to them.

You are not in a worse situation than them. You should have seen how people were living in the camps in Kurdistan. I was there to oversee the relief work.

I tell you, the world has a lot of love and compassion and much less cruelty. You’re not in an abandoned world. You’re in a world with a lot of love and belongingness. Have confidence in the goodness of society and of people. If you see from my eyes, you will see goodness everywhere.

Quotes on Broken Heart

"Whatever is yours will always come back to you. That which is not yours, even if you hold onto it with chains and pull it towards you it will face the other side, and run away one day" GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
"Even if you have broken dreams, don't lose hope! Have faith and know that every experience in life always brings something good with it". GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“Move on with a fresh heart, with a lighter heart, and with a happier heart.” GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
“When you see life from a bigger context all the worries disappear and a new dimension opens up.” GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR
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