RAJKUMAR HIRANI: Award winning Director and Filmmaker, India:  First of all, I would like to thank you Guruji! We ended up doing the Art of Living course last week with my entire crew and it actually was wonderful. It really calmed  us down as we step into a new shoot next week. This is wonderful to be here, and chatting with you. Actually,  whenever I hear from you, we end up keep getting lots of ideas.

My only question is, when we were growing up, we never heard things like ‘stress’. Now it’s such a common phrase, every day I keep hearing, ’I was too stressed up at work today!’, ’today was filled with tension’. We never heard these terms when we were growing up. So I wonder what has caused this in the last 20 years. What has changed now in the surroundings which has caused this stress? How do we get rid of it? What is that one mantra?

GURUDEV SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR: Too much to do, too little time and no energy; this is the equation for stress or a formula for stress. Your ambitions are so much, you want to do so much, and then you don’t have enough time or energy to do that, then you get stressed, isn’t it? Now, stress is not a palatable state, and you can’t be in that state for too long; you want to get rid of it. That is why it is called stress. You can’t hold on to it. You want to find a quick way to get rid of it. So, usually people go and have a peg, drink a little bit, take some drugs and try to get rid of it. But it doesn’t really go away from the system, it stays within the system. That’s where meditation, breathing exercises, Sudarshan Kriya and all the spiritual practices come in handy; it helps you to release them. So, today, you can’t reduce your needs; your needs are growing every day. You want a car and that is a minimum need; you need a fridge, and all the economic needs and emotional needs are growing. You can’t reduce them. What you can do is, increase your energy level, and when your energy level goes up, you find that your needs are fulfilled much more easily and effortlessly. If things happen effortlessly, then there is no stress, right? So, it’s the effort that causes stress. If there is an effort in sharing what you already have, that doesn’t bring you stress; because you are so happy and joyful you want to share the joy with so many people. You have done a great movie and you want to share that with everybody, day and night you work for it, it doesn’t bother you so much. From somewhere you find that energy. You find loads of energy rushing in to you, because you are doing something not for yourself, but for the sake of everyone else. It is said that if you do for the others, then you don’t get tired. If you do for yourself, you get tired easily.

RAJKUMAR HIRANI: Thank you Gurudev. That was so valuable for all of us who have been online, because all of us are really battling with this continuous demand on our time and sagging energy. What you said about when we serve and we do for others, we don’t feel the tiredness is great. I think there are hundreds and thousands of volunteers around the world who are leading all the service projects of the Art of Living experiencing this every day. Some of them are here with us; we have youth now joining us from Oman live, to take your guidance.