By Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
In this Weekly Wisdom, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares beautiful insights on how to embrace doubt and keep your mind cool in daily life. Find out.
Your wanting to let go of your doubt is a problem because the doubt will pop up into your mind again. At the drop of a hat, the same doubt will again come up into your head because you’re afraid and regretful. You’re trying to push it away.
Instead, I tell you, hold onto the doubt strongly. Doubt as much as you can. Don’t leave any avenue undoubted. Doubt to its maximum level. You’ll get sick and tired of doubts, so they’ll fall away by themselves.
They’ll burst! Doubts are like bubbles of soap. Reality is much stronger. Doubt is just unreal. The truth is real. So doubt as much as you can and don’t feel guilty for or afraid of doubting.
Are you really enlightened?
I remember once I was in Sweden and there was a meeting, a conference, and one gentleman would stand up. He was a journalist. Every five or ten minutes he would stand up and ask, “Are you enlightened? Tell me now.” I just looked at him the first time. I didn’t say anything. A little later he asked me that question again. Then, a third time, he just came up right in front of me and said, “Tell me, are you really enlightened?”
I looked at him and said “No.” If you say yes you have to prove it all. Who wants to go through all the headaches to prove that? It’s best to say no, so the question finishes. If I say no, he can’t ask me to prove it to him. His doubt said no, and I said no. No means it’s easily finished.
But he sat down for less than a minute. Then he stood up and said, “You’re not telling the truth. So tell me the truth. You’re simply playing with me. Tell me the truth.”
That’s the nature of doubt. You try to push it under the carpet, and it comes up like a monster again. I tell you, be with the doubt as much as you can. You know, that’s why ancient people accepted even the non-believers. The atheists are also part of this creation. That’s not just from today. Atheism has been there since the beginning of creation.
Doubt is in the mind, not the heart
In the oldest of the scriptures on this planet, the Rig Veda, it’s said by one Rishi, “I adore the divine, who some atheists say doesn’t exist. To that being, whose existence is doubted by somebody, who still nurtures all of them, to that divinity I offer my salutations.” That light, which has not been recognized by the blind, that existence which has been misunderstood by the ignorant, I still adore.
So, doubts are okay. We need not be afraid of doubt. Doubts can never destroy the truth. They will just put a veil over your eyes, not on the truth. So as time goes on, this will become obvious to you.
But don’t think that doubt is deep inside you. This is wrong. Doubt is only on the surface. The only danger is when you think you have this deep doubt in your heart. You don’t have deep doubt in your heart. You should never think that way. If you have doubt, it’s only on the surface, in the mind.
Religion is the road, not the house
Doubt sometimes comes about religion. When people say their religion is the only one, their God is the only God, don’t worship other Gods, then this fear comes up.
There’s no other God. There’s only one God, that’s all, in the world. There’s no Hindu God, Muslim God, Christian God, Jewish God. There are Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and Christians in the world, but God, no. Don’t put religion onto God.
God is the light, the divinity, the love, and the very soul. To attain Him, many paths came up and those are called religions. Do you understand what I’m saying? The road is not the house. There could be many roads to your house. But we’re talking directly about the house, the home, your home.
Fear, guilt, and your deeds
So fear and guilt were put there by people who want to hold power, not by God. Do you see what I’m saying? Feel at home, be relaxed.
Don’t think God is going to punish you one day. No. Why would he punish you? If God is omniscient, he knew what was going to happen. He could have helped you before. What does he do? He waits for you to make a mistake and then he comes with a stick, to punish you? No. You don’t have to worry about it. Just relax and do good work in the world.
Your deeds will punish you if you go on continuing bad habits like smoking, drinking, cheating, lying. That will have repercussions on you. Tomorrow, if you lie to the police, then the police will come the next day, find out you’re lying, and you’re going to have a problem.
Your deeds are going to bring you good or bad results and that’s also temporary because no bad action will give you a result that’s forever. Right? Any good action has a limited effect on you. So does any bad action done by you. If you’ve knowingly cheated somebody, you definitely have to face the consequences for some period of time for that.
Keeping your mind cool in daily life
So how do you manage this doubt and these emotions in your daily life? Do your . . There are a number of knowledge sheets that we’ve made. Read some of the knowledge sheets.
Celebrating Silence, Celebrating Love, are some of the books you should keep with you. Read one or two pages every day. It helps you. One for the heart, one for the awareness, one for the intellect. These can help you to cleanse the intellect from time to time.
The intellect gets clogged time and again by our dealings with people. When you’re dealing with people, some pleasant and unpleasant things happen. You have fights with your son, daughter, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law. Something happens at home, with your friends or co-workers at the office, your colleagues. With all this, the mind gets clogged because you want things to go a certain way, and everything goes the other way. You get frustrated, angry, and upset. Now, have some mercy on all of those brain cells in you, which you’re roasting. You’re burning them out. Don’t give so much heat to them. They deserve coolness.
To keep the temperature in your brain, in your mind, controlled, you need to have an air conditioner inside you. It’s not enough to have air conditioning in the room. It should be in the mind, too. AC stands for altered consciousness. The mind should alter the consciousness.
It’s quite natural. When something unpleasant happens, you get really upset and angry, and if at that moment you can remember, “Okay, I’m going to switch off from this. I’ll do something else. Let me see.” Then the mind cools down, and a little later you think that which made you so angry and upset is presenting a different picture in front of you.
How many of you have experienced this in your life? At some moments, that anger comes. If you had acted at that moment, you would have regretted it. So, you should have this AC, altered consciousness. At that time, you alter your consciousness. It helps you a great deal. This knowledge is what’s missing in the world. This could prevent many disasters.
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