Gurudev, could you please talk about the connection between spirituality and mathematics?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Mathematics of spirituality is that 2 + 1 = 0.
Did you get it? Think about it!
When the body and mind, these two merge with the One spirit, then nothing remains to be known anymore. That is what it is!
Dearest Gurudev, there have been many questions asking you to talk more about the meaning of Jesus, His birth and the meaning of his presence. Please talk a little about this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:Jesus is the embodiment of love.
Just look at how much insult and pain he had to suffer. Jesus took the hurt and the pain with such equanimity and calmness. He was blamed by everyone. Even his own disciples ran away.
Imagine how hurtful that must have been for him at that time. When you do all you can for your devotees, and one fine day, they disown you and run away, it is the most terrible hurt that anyone can imagine. But Jesus’ life was like that. And when everyone had forsaken him in the end, he even asked God, ‘Have you also forsaken me?’
So, his was a life of total pain on one side and love on the other side.
Now, this does not mean that anybody who loves will have to undergo so much pain. It is not so. His message to the people was always this, ‘Do not be a fanatic about anything. Do not judge and do not be cruel. Be loving and compassionate towards everyone, for God is Love.'
People were living in the head at that time, they were only thinking of sins and punishment. They were only dreaming of heaven and afraid of hell.
Jesus came and said, ‘Live in the present moment. Live now and be loving and caring towards all. There is no need to be afraid of God because He is our father, and like a father he is part of us. My father and I are one.'
He gave such a revolutionary message at that time, and made people realize that the journey is from the head to the heart, and not from the head to the heavens and the stars.
He gave that message, but for seventy years no one recorded what He said.
I have heard from scholars that the Bible was written seventy years after his demise. So later on, there could have been many distortions of the original text. That is why there are 72 sects of Christianity, each claiming to be the real one.
There is only one Jesus Christ but there are 72 different sects and they have all interpreted the Bible in their own way.
They must try to grasp its main essence and not get into theological fights with each other, as that will never end in the world.
The same happened with Lord Buddha also. There was only one Lord Buddha but there are 32 sects of Buddhism, each claiming to be the original one, with the right interpretation of his teachings.
The same can be found with Prophet Mohammed also. There are five sects of Islam and they do not like each other. In fact, they contradict each other.
Man has this habit of hanging onto concepts without really experiencing it.
People make those concepts as their identity and are willing to give up their life for that identity.
Jesus’ message was, ‘Wake up and see that the kingdom of heaven is within you. Know that God is love.'
So, be like a child. A child has no prejudices. Unless you are like a child you cannot get into heaven. This message is getting lost.
A child-like innocence, and sense of belongingness with everybody is missing. This is why there has been so much crime in the name of religion.
When religion started to be mixed with political authority, then it gave rise to communism. All this has happened because we do not realize the inner light, that we are, the light of our inner being.
Dear Gurudev, if doing nothing brings us so much joy and happiness, then why should we do anything at all?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Your nature is such that you cannot stay for too long without doing anything.
You know, bliss is always found or realized in the contrast of events.
When you are doing something and when you put in your 100% efforts, only then do you realize the value of not doing something.
See, when you are active and dynamic, only then does deep rest happen to you. If you are simply lying in bed the whole day and are doing nothing, then you will not be able to sleep at night. So it is essential to do what you have to do.
We have certain karmas to do, and once the karmas are done, then in between the states of doing and being in activity, we do experience that state of not doing anything also.
Gurudev, are desires created, and can they be removed? If so, how?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Just look back and reflect on your life from your childhood. You had so many desires back then; some of which you fulfilled and many of which you dropped.
You have not been able to fulfill every single desire that has arisen in your head as a child, as a young adult, or as a youth.
If it had happened that way, you would have been crazy. You would have been miserable. Thank God that it did not happen. This is why only those things which had to happen started happening to you.
All this praise and insult, everything happens only on planet Earth, and we have to face them and move on. Become a strong soul, a strong individual. That is the real strength.
Are you able to smile through every event in life? That is the purpose of all this.
Can you keep your smile?
It is tough, I know, but you need to do it.
If you try to run away from anything, it is only going to chase you further. If not in this life, then it will happen in the next life. That is why it is said that just be done with everything which has to happen now, and move on with a big smile, with courage, and with enthusiasm.
The bitter experiences that you came across, have given depth to your personality, while the good experiences broadened your personality. So they have all contributed to your life.
Good or bad experiences, both should be welcomed, as both make your personality strong. They both contribute to your being in an unimaginable manner.
Just know that they are all part of your Sadhana (spiritual practice).
So, pleasant experiences are also a part of your Sadhana. The same goes for the unpleasant events that you have gone through.
For example, people giving you compliments, or people throwing insults at you are both a part of your Sadhana. In both cases, you become solid, you get centered, and you grow the way you are supposed to grow.
Dear Gurudev, why does longing hurt so much? I am referring to the longing for the Divine and for the Infinity. Where have we come from?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
See, love and hurt are very close and go hand in hand.
When you love someone, then you do get hurt sometimes. It happens this way, and we have to live through it. So do not run away from it.
Getting hurt is a part of love.
Today somebody came and told me, ‘My son is like this, my son is like that; he is not listening to me.'
See, it is only natural. The mother has done so much for the child and when the child does not listen to her at all, she feels so hurt.
Naturally, the mother wants the best for her son, while the son thinks he knows what is good for him. So he does not want to listen to the mother. Now, what do you do in this situation?
The mother came to me and said, ‘Gurudev, what do you suggest I should do?’
I told her, ‘See, I want the best for everybody. So, I want the best for your son and I want the best for you as well.'
To this she replied, ‘But Gurudev, my son listens to you more than me.'
I said, 'Now if he listens to me more than you, then that means he knows for sure that Gurudev has no selfish motives and that I will say the right thing.'
I told the son, ‘You do what you want.'
See, I do not dictate to people, ‘You do this, you do that’.
So hurt is indeed a part of love. The pain is inevitable.
When there is love, it also sometimes brings pain. But to be afraid of pain and to stop loving, and shutting down completely is foolishness, which a lot of people do.
To stop being in love because it hurts at times is not an intelligent decision at all. It is the most foolish thing that one can ever do. But those who sail through that little pinch and move on, will get the real, blissful love.
Gurudev, why are humans supposed to go through all these processes to attain enlightenment?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
It is needed, just know that for now.
In life you will have 101 reasons to get frustrated. However it is up to you keep the enthusiasm alive without allowing the frustration to seep in. Here are some pointers to help you keep frustration at bay.