A Talk from the Heart - What Sri Sri Said at Tokyo on 1 April 2017

1 Apr 2017 Tokyo, Japan

Who Are You and What Do You Want?

It is so nice to be here in Japan - The land of the Rising Sun!

The dire need of today is to awaken the society and the world to the reality of who we are, and what do we want! If you ask anybody, why do they do what they do? And if they ponder upon this question, the answer is happiness. Everybody is looking for happiness. Spiritual people are looking for happiness in liberation. Religious people are looking for happiness in scriptures. Socialists are looking for happiness as absolute comfort in technology. Commerce and industry are looking for happiness by making more profits. Politicians are looking for happiness in creating a happy society, and by making the country stronger. So, who does not want happiness? Everybody wants it! But, are we finding that happiness?

If you are not happy, why is it so?

The answer is we have too much to do and too little time and energy. As a result, we are getting stressed, and are not reaching where we want to be.

We need to ask ourselves certain questions as human beings!

We started asking questions about life from an age of three – where did we come from, what is this and what is that…? These questions indicate that our intellect is maturing. These questions are pure and inquisitive questions. But later on in life, we don’t ask these questions, instead, we ask questions that indicate misery and sorrow. We ask questions that have no answers – ‘Why am I having this problem, why am I unhappy?
And we don’t ask these questions to others, we ask them to ourselves! Unanswered questions ferment in the mind and become violence.

From low energy to high energy.

Are you all here? Are you listening? (Audience: 'Yes')
See what is happening, when your presence of mind is complete, then questions transform into wonder.

When the energy (prana) in us is high, we ask questions that lead us to the truth. When energy is low, we ask questions that only bring us more misery.

What is that one thing that can shift the energy (from low to high) and make us more positive? What can bring that sense of happiness that we all had when we were children? It is meditation.

Meditation is that which shifts our energy from negative to positive; from a state of despair to a state of hope and joy, and from a state of worry to a state of vision for a better life!

Tap into the enormous strength within you.

Take an oath today – 'Come what may, I am going to be happy! I am not going to lose my smile no matter what happens.'  If you do this, you will see that your life starts taking the direction that you always wanted!

You may have several failures, you may come across several stumbling blocks, you may not be able to be happy every day and all the time, but this very commitment that – I am not going to lose my peace for anything in the world – will bring such enormous strength from within you, that it will start changing the situations around you. 

One very important thing we need is the faith that only the right thing will happen! 

Today, can we all make this commitment (to be happy)? Can we instil the faith within ourselves that only the right thing will happen to me? Once you start on this journey, I tell you, things will fall in place. 

Stop counting your failures.

We keep on doubting ourselves and remembering all the failures that we have had. When we do this, we are sowing seeds of doubt and failure into the consciousness. Right away, stop counting your failures. In fact, don't even look at any setbacks as failures because they are all stepping stones towards progress.   

Do away with negativity!

Today, scientists say – if you are talking negatively, or listening to negativity, or indulging in any negative conversation, the hypothalamus, which is located at the back of your head starts shrinking. And if the hypothalamus starts shrinking, then the body gets susceptible to many illnesses. Hence, it is very important to get away from the cycle of negative thinking, negative conversations, and dwelling or taking pride in any kind of negativity.

Now, you may think, how is this possible? How can I completely do away with negativity? The mind catches on to negativity and goes on and on about it, how do we get out of this cycle?

That is where the breathing technique makes a big difference. Meditation and breathing techniques help us get out of the vicious circle of negativity so that we can move towards a more positive state of mind.

Life is much beyond your achievements!

Japan is such a huge country with such beautiful people. To see so many people here in depression, pains me, and I want to do something! If we all work together, we can help the people who are feeling depressed. We can uplift their energy and make them realize that life is more precious than its achievements.

We have restaurants and gyms everywhere, so when we want to eat or exercise, we can go there. Similarly, I feel that we need happiness centres everywhere in the city, where people can go to get rid of all their heaviness. They can go, sit there for some time and get rid of all the misery and sadness, and come out feeling joyful and happy. We need such places, and I am sure that in the future we will be able to create such happiness centres all over the world.

Uncertainty is as important as certainty.

Life is a combination of certainty and uncertainty. In big cities, certainty is an important factor. We are so certain about everything! When certainty is the main thing in life, and there is no uncertainty, then life becomes dull and boring, because everything is available. Just like the trains in Japan; you know exactly what time the train is coming, there is no unpredictability about it.

When everything is fixed, then life is dull and mechanical. But when there is some factor of uncertainty in life, then you feel wow. That wow factor, that surprise and wonder brings more juice to life.

So, life should be a perfect combination of uncertainty and certainty.

You are all sitting here, and you are certain that your car will be there where you parked it. Suppose you were in Afghanistan, then you would not be certain if your car will be there when you go back, then you can’t sit and listen to what I am saying. We need some certainty in life; certain things need to happen the way they should happen. But we also need some surprises. At the same time, uncertainty alone (without certainty) brings fear, anxiety and tension.

For those who are strong, uncertainty does not shake them too much. But for many others, uncertainty shakes them inside. It is meditation that turns the fear into wonder and an opportunity in uncertain situations.

Uncertainty is the junction from where you either turn towards fear, paranoia and anxiety, or you turn towards wonder, opportunity and thrill.

Let us together create more hope in society, wherever there is uncertainty!


If you enjoyed reading this content and would like to receive a notification on our future updates, you can subscribe here.

Enter your email address:


You can also write to us on webteam.wisdom@artofliving.org for any questions or comments.

How To Stop
Feelings of Hurt

If you have wisdom, you don’t have to go through pain to learn. We go through pain because we lack wisdom. But remember that you will come out of pain or hurt at some time or the other.

So, if you are in pain, or have been hurt, here are the four ways of looking at the situation that will ease your pain!





Read earlier posts

  • September 23, 2019

    September 23, 2019
  • September 23, 2019

    September 23, 2019
  • September 23, 2019

    September 23, 2019
  • September 23, 2019

    7 Steps to Cope with Frustration

    November 23, 2018
    • In life you will have 101 reasons to get frustrated. However it is up to you keep the enthusiasm alive without allowing the frustration to seep in. Here are some pointers to help you keep frustration at bay.
  • May 1, 2018

    The Best Form of Donation

    April 28, 2018
    • It is important to donate at least 3 percent of what we earn - says Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. In this article he further talks about the best form of donation
  • Is Buddhism a Part of Hinduism

    April 25, 2018
    • It is often asked - Is Buddhism a part of Hinduism? Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar sheds light on the origin and similarity between the two religions

    The 5 Types of People

    April 23, 2018
    • A must read: There are 5 types of people in society - find out which type are you in this knowledge sheet by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar