The Great Chennai Dialogue

10 Feb 2016 Chennai, India

(Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed the inaugural session of The Great Chennai Dialogue on the 10 February 2016 held at 'The Le Meridian Hotel' – where he met a wide audience of professionals consisting of CEOs, Business Heads, Managers, Entrepreneurs, Educationalists, intellectuals and other leaders working in the fields of Marketing, Engineering, information Technology, Banking, Hr, Media and Creativity.
Below is the transcript of what Gurudev said at this event :

We communicate more through our vibes than through our words. When we get off an airplane, the air hostess says, "Have a nice day", but does she mean it? When the same thing is said by your mother or your grandmother, it carries some vibes along with it. Our ability to grasp these vibes depends on our ability to be calm. If we are stuck with one topic in our mind then we lose out on many things. Many times people sit with one question and they become deaf to everything else. Are you getting what I am saying? When you’re holding on to one question then your cup is overflowing, then there is nothing more to put into it.

Once a disciple went to his Guru with many questions and asked him for knowledge. The Guru said, "Come, sit and have a cup of coffee first", and the Guru poured coffee into the cup till it started overflowing and splattered onto the table and then on to the floor. The disciple said, "Gurudev, what are you doing?"
The Guru said, "You have come to me like an overflowing cup. Your capacity to hold is very small but you want answers to some very big questions. You will not be able to hold what I pour. I am ready to give, but are you ready to receive? If you have to receive then first you have to become empty".

Krishna has said in the Gita, "Na hy asannyasta-sankalpo yogi bhavati kascana", if you hold on to one thought in your mind then you will not be able to receive new knowledge.
See, if a mother tells the child, "You get lost", does she really mean it? No! She never means it. She just says it out of anger. We give words their meaning and we give it their meaning from the depth of our being. When we relate from the level of vibrations, that is Aatmasamvadan -- soul to soul communication, and only in this level of communication real knowledge dawns.

In the ancient days, in this country, there was the tradition of Upanayanam where the teacher would make the disciple sit close to him and looks into the eyes of the disciple and passes on the knowledge to him. The disciple in-turn would have faith in his teacher.

If you think that the teacher does not know, then what is the point of asking a question? If I think you don’t know how to go to Guindy, why will I ask you? I ask you because you are from Chennai. But if you are from Bihar and are just a visitor, I would not bother to ask you, isn't that so? So, the faith is important there. Faith is part of our life. We are born with faith. A child does not know the mother but when it looks at the eyes of the mother, it feels the love. It doesn’t ask the mother, "What is your name? Where did you study? Who are your parents? Where are you from? What do you do?" The child knows nothing, but it feels the love. The child doesn’t make the mother an object of knowing. Similarly, something which is so big and great, you cannot make it an object of your knowing. Only when you experience the love, can you receive knowledge. Some people think, only if you have knowledge you can feel the love, even that is ok.

Some people say, "I want to realize God", but why do you want to realize God? My dear, you cannot go away from God. It is impossible! There is air everywhere, but you are able to feel the intensity of it when you sit next to a fan. Similarly, to feel the presence of God you need meditation, satsang and a Master.

How many of you have thought about doubt? (Many in the audience raise hands). How many of you have not thought about doubt? (Few in the audience raise hands). Doubt is always about something that is positive. Have you observed this? If someone tells you, "He’s a very bad person", you agree and take it for granted. There is no doubt about it. But if someone says, "He is a good person", you say, "That’s what you think. Let’s see".
We doubt the honesty of a person, but we never doubt the dishonesty of a person. Similarly, we doubt our own happiness. If someone asks you, "Are you happy?" You say, "Well, I am not sure". But we never ever doubt our depression. Have you ever said, "I am not sure If I am depressed". No! We are very sure about our depression and about our anger, but we are not sure about our love.
We ask people, "Do you really love me?" But we never ask someone, "Are you really angry with me?"
So, we doubt anything that is positive and that’s why we doubt the existence of a power called God. It is very normal to doubt. You doubt in the goodness of people, even that is natural. You also doubt the goodness inside you or something good that is happening to you, isn’t it? Once we know what this doubt is, we jump to a level which is much higher and stronger and that is real faith.

You cannot separate love and faith. You can’t say, "I have faith in you but I don’t love you", and you also can’t say, "I love you but I don’t have faith in you". Love and faith are two sides of the same coin.

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