Weekly Wisdom: Raja Yoga,
Emotions, and Your Mind

In this Weekly Wisdom, Gurudev shares beautiful insights on how to deal effortlessly with emotions and provide comfort to your mind

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

In response to a question about emotions, Gurudev shared the following:

Emotions just show up. You try to hide them and often you’re not successful in doing so because that’s too difficult. If you’re happy, it shows up on your face effortlessly. When you’re unhappy, it naturally shows up on your face. 

However hard you try to hold back emotion, it definitely shows up. Now, whether you should try hard to dramatize it, and create more trauma in other people and yourself, or put effort into reigning it in, is up to your free will and wisdom. 

Showing emotions 

When you get upset with your boss, you don’t show it as much as you show it to your spouse or children. You do show it, but you have that regulator with which you control how much should be shown. And that controller, regulator, or thermostat is your wisdom. 

Knowing where and how much to show is in itself the culturing of our nervous system, our mind. Sometimes if it’s uncontrollable, the emotion just comes up. Don’t tag it as good or bad. That’s how it is. 

It’s okay to express anger and sadness. It’s perfectly alright to express your joy or gratefulness. If tears flow, it’s perfectly okay. Express it. But be sensitive to the people around you if possible. Most of the time it will be possible.

Suppressing emotion is no good. Neither is dramatizing it or overtly expressing it. The middle path is best.


effortless nature

I don’t tell you to do anything that’s difficult. If you say, “I can’t accept somebody as they are,” I say, “If it’s so difficult, just don’t do it.” 

But I want you to take a look at it. Is it easier if you don’t accept somebody? Does it make your mind and your life easier and better? 

You’ll say, “Wait a minute, let me see. No!” 

When you accept them, they’re gone from your mind. When you reject them, they’re much more in your mind. So this is called the royal path, meaning it’s easy. Raja yoga means the easy path. The king wants comfort and everyone else to be comfortable. 

So this is comfort for the mind. It’s called Raja Yoga. Effortlessness is the key for settling the mind and kindling the heart open. That’s what we want, isn’t it?

Life is like a river. You can’t take a dip twice in the same river. Yet, at the same time, it’s the same river flowing for millions of years. It’s constant, yet changing. Something in life is constant. Yet, there are changes. Realizing this is wisdom. 


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