Mahasatsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at Delhi
Life is eternal; we never give a thought to this truth.
When someone dies we declare that the person is immortal, but the truth is we ourselves are immortal. That is why we do not feel that we have grown old.
No matter how old a person is, he feels he is never going to die. This feeling is always there. If someone else dies, we say, ‘that poor fellow died.'
Everyone else dies but I don't; this is the feeling which goes on. There is a stream (awareness) within us that cannot be destroyed, which is undying.
To acknowledge and observe that stream is spirituality. Such courage, such strength, such solidity comes in life that nothing can shake you, no one can shake you. It is a subtle stream - 'I have not changed, I have not grown old, I am just the same.'
When you examine your life, the observing of life is spirituality; it is satsang.
Satsang is not just singing bhajans, but pondering the truths of life. What is the most important truth of life - there is some element within us that does not perish, that does not die. There is something within that does not diminish, is inerasable, unchanging and undying. If even the slightest attention is directed to it, life becomes easy and uncomplicated.
The second truth - everything changes - body changes, mind changes, intellect changes, thoughts change, and everything is changing.
This is all I have come to say.
And if we change ourselves, we can change our environment, our society and this world. First and foremost, it will have to start within us. Such a smile should blossom from within us that can never fade, cannot be robbed - this is knowledge. To sit in an effort to gain this knowledge is satsang.
'God knows Guruji, how many lifetimes it will take for me to gain this awareness' - do not harbor these thoughts.
Now that you have come to my satsang, believe that you have already gained it. Once you are on the train, know that you will reach the destination. That is for sure.
Being human we all have certain needs and certain responsibilities. Tonight when you go home, sit down and make a list of all your needs and responsibilities.
If your needs are more than your responsibilities, there will be unhappiness in life, guaranteed! If our responsibilities are more than our needs, life will be peaceful. What we need to do is reduce our desires and take on more responsibility.
And when in our life, personal needs disappear and desires no longer exist; an extraordinary, mystical ability is awakened within us that enables us to bless others. When we do not want anything for ourselves, we develop the strength to fulfill the desires of others. This is the second step you have to climb.
First, become aware of your desires and reduce them and whatever is left, have the confidence that by God's grace they will be fulfilled.
The next step is, 'I need nothing.'
When you need nothing, you will become so strong that whatever you say to anyone will become a boon to them. If you bless anyone, it will manifest.
I do not have any desires or demands and this happened naturally. I want that you also view things this way.
Turn back and look, how our country was; how Delhi was 200 or 500 years ago. In a hundred years from now, if you were to be reborn in the same family, or in a neighbor's family, what kind of world would you like to see? What kind of Delhi or what kind of Yamuna would you like to see? What kind of environment and atmosphere would you like to grow up in? Just think about it.
It is then that we realize that we need to take up some responsibility for our society.
May there be a greater sense of morality and may we be useful to one another – we will have to create such an atmosphere. If it cannot be done alone, we all can join together and do it.
8, 10, 15 or 20 people should get together and take up any social cause. We want a violence-free society that nurtures a sense of belongingness, a society where we are useful to one another, where there is a feeling of love and understanding amongst neighbors and a mutual sense of respect. Don’t you want that?
Of course you do! But what responsibility have you taken on for it? Now think about it.
I would say that we should all focus our attention on some issues.
The foremost among them is a corruption-free society that we all need to envision. Corruption begins right where belongingness ends. One does not behave in a deceitful manner with their own people. The corrupt accept bribes from people they do not consider their own. We want to sacrifice ourselves on those whom we consider our very own, and we want to grab from those with whom we feel separateness.
Spirituality is where no one is a stranger. It is the mantra of love and the absence of separateness from anyone; where no one is an outsider.
So we need to envision a corruption-free society. Law is necessary, but that law alone can abolish corruption; I am not willing to believe. We all will have to join hands and, to begin with, take an oath not to give or accept bribes.
Next is female feticide. We have to put an end to female feticide.
In this country we have always believed that man and woman are equal - God's other half is Shakti.
Shiva Shaktyayukto Yadi Bhavati Shatah Prabhavitum
You must have heard of the concept of 'Ardha Nareshwar', it is so scientific. In every individual both elements exist, the female and the male. Committing female feticide or any act of violence against women is a very bad thing to do. We have to stop it.
The third issue is alcohol. Nowadays, alcohol has acquired the status of God in India. People drink in sorrow and people drink when they are happy. They drink at weddings, and when someone dies to forget the departed. When the election is won, alcohol flows, and when it is lost, then too alcohol is there - it has become excessive.
It is being said that the sale of alcohol has risen in our society. Addiction has gone out of bounds. We have to protect ourselves from this. The only way to save us is if we experience a greater euphoria than alcohol - that which one can get in our midst.
If you sit in satsang, you experience such a high that is hard to get over.
One can afford to remain in that high as one doesn't have to spend anything, and one's health is also protected.
This universe has five qualities: naam, roop, asti, bhati and preeti. This entire universe is name (naam) and form (roop); everything has a name and a form, and consciousness (asti), which is experienced (bhati) and whose nature is love (preeti).
Go to any corner of the world and look into the eyes of a child - you will find nothing but love. Every child born in this world is an image of love and a treasure of joy and smiles. A child smiles all day long. And as it grows up, no one knows where the love disappears, and the smile vanishes.
The meaning of education is to save the smile and spread the love.
Both you and I have died several times; I remember, whether you remember or not, I do not know. When we die, only two questions appear before us: how many people have you shared love with, and how much knowledge have you gained.
Knowledge does not mean information, it means awareness. So we have named this process of gaining awareness, and sharing love, The Art of Living.
Putting together certain techniques, various programs such as Yes+, ART Excel, etc., were created so that people might find it easy to learn.
Too much knowledge all at once cannot be digested. Knowledge should be given in small doses, like in a five course dinner: first the appetizer, then the soup, then the mail meal and in the end dessert. This way we can digest the food.
It has been thirty years since the Art of Living began. This world is one family - this dream has been realized today. This was a very ancient dream of our Rishis. It is inscribed in our parliament also, ‘Gananda laghu chetasaam udara charitaanaam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam'.
In our country this knowledge and this tradition has been there since eternity. There are such beautiful and timeless truths that we have overlooked, and neither learnt nor implemented in our lives. Application of this knowledge keeps our body healthy, mind at ease and happy, sharpens the intellect, and there is such a feeling of peace within!
If you all ask me Guruji, what do you want? Why you are doing all these things and why are you holding these satsangs? Why are you traveling to all these places?
Shall I tell you my secret, why I am doing all this? I want to see an India where there is no violence. Where in every individual there is creativity and joy. I want to see a divine society. I want to create a violence-free and trouble-free society.
How many of you are with me in this? We all have to come together and bring about the divine society till the time we are in this world. We have to do things in such a way that we should leave behind a beautiful society for the next generations. When we leave this world behind, we should leave it better than how we got it.
What do you think? One day or the other, we are going to die. So for today’s younger generation we have to give a better society. Will you all work together for this? Yes?!
Just look around whoever is not raising their hands up! Just ask them, ‘what is the problem!’