Bad Antogast (Germany), Dec. 28:
Q: How can we become as big and as fast as this (Art of Living)?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I wonder about that too.I think you should have brainstorming sessions, sit with them those teachers and people of that country we can try those other things too and then wait for the time.Yes, there are two things:One is that our efforts, our skills matters.Second is the right time.A combination of both will definitely work
Q: Guruji, please speak about dharma and sanga.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Dharma and sanga. Our innermost nature is what dharma is. Yes, our innermost nature is dharma and sangha is our association, our environment.So events and attitude are influenced by only two things.The first is by your own true nature and another by your environment, the people whom you are with, you know.In a group if someone says, ‘Come lets go and have a drink,’ we will say, ‘Ok, lets all go.’ We will go.In a group if someone starts talking negatively, slowly another person will join a little later, then the third and the fourth. Soon you’ll find that everybody starts talking negatively – this is the influence of the groupA child is influenced upto 25 percent by the environment, by the friends in the environment and the school they grow up in. Another 25 percent is from the parents’ genes and tendencies. The next 25 percent is their own originality, their karmas, their samskaras, the impression that they come into this world with. The remaining 25 percent is through their own self-effort and their understanding. So parents have got only one-forth influence on their children. Only one forth. Similarly, our sangha which means our association has an influence on us. Usually what we call sangha is a group of people who are on the spiritual path. People on the spiritual path can help you with that much-needed energy, biodiversity energy for you to move on that path. That is why when you sit and meditate in a group, it is better than when you are alone.How many of you feel that way? In a group you feel like doing yoga, pranayam, even service activity. When you are alone, you get tired. You don't feel like doing it. But few of you join together and you do a lot of work. If you have to wash the dishes alone, you will feel so bored. But if 7, 8 or 9 of us are washing the dishes, time just flies like that. You don’t feel tired. I have told you don’t feel exhausted isn't it? How many of you have this experience?At home if someone is asked to wash that many dishes, you would crib. And here you do it with the smile, you do it happily joyfully. So sangha can or the group sangha can help you move up in life. It puts you in touch with the dharma; and sangha only happen with the enlightened.That’s why Lord Buddha said Buddham, sangham and dharmam. Three things - the enlightened one, the company of people and your true nature - all these things important and they all are one and the same.
Q. Guruji is there any wrong time for meditation? Is it ok to meditate any time?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You can meditate any time when your tummy is not full.When you have eaten, you are full. When you sit for meditation at that time, that is not good. Either you will not have meditation, you'll fall asleep or you’ll have indigestion.There will some difficulty in metabolism
Q: Why is there is a rift between migrants and local people?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Rift between the migrants and people living there... one of the reasons is that the migrants are not mixing with the local people. They remain in their own community and campus. They don’t adopt the country they are in. This is a big issue. That is going to keep people separate.There is an old saying, ‘Be a Roman when you are in Rome.’So if you are in a country, you should adopt that culture, you should be with the country, flow with the norms of that country. This is essential for migrants to know and understand. Secondly, the fear. Migrants fear that they will lose their roots. This they need not do. They should strengthen their roots as well maintain their original customs – language, culture, religion, tradition. That is fine. They should do that. On the other hand, there is much awareness about cultural diversity. There have not been many festivals which integrate all kinds of people, of all different cultures, civilization, religions. This multi-cultural events, multi-religious events need to happen more often. That would bring people together, their hearts and minds together.
Q: Guruji our politicians ain’t any good. How can you change corrupted ones like the one in my country?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well. I will leave that question with you. You may get some ideas. Share them with me too!We have to work on this issue. Politicians have lost the sense of belongingness with people. It has become another industry. Politics has ceased to be a place for responsibility and caring and protection of people’s welfare. Rather it has turned out to be self-aggrandizement, an industry of power and position and money.This has to change. You know, politicians will have to realize that they are servants of people. They have a responsibility. There are some very good politicians. Not that we should put them all in the same basket. But those corrupt politicians are the one we really needed to address. That can happen only through education and rising awareness of human values among them. I am very much concerned, especially about Africa, where people have very little to eat. The country is really going down and the politicians of Africa have hoarded billions - $280 billion - in a bank in England. When I was speaking to politicians at the European parliament, they told me that, ‘Guruji, we have good news. We have sent $79 million back to Africa to the people there because it’s the people’s money. But it’s not sufficient. It’s only a small portion of what presidents and prime ministers of the continent of Africa are holding there. Similarly, Indian politicians are holding huge amounts in Swiss banks. But it’s all been hushed up. There needs to be a wave of spiritual awakening, moral and spiritual awakening in the whole world, especially in this field. Only then can this be correctedSo, it’s a big task. Everybody has to work for it. We need politicians like Gandhi and Martin Luther King who are spiritual and who care for people to uphold ideals in society. Isn't it?
Q: Dearest Guruji, can you please speak about guru and tatva?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is only one air, one sun, one earth and one moon. and similarly one consciousness. In the inside of us, the consciousness which is wisdom, which is light is gurutatva. Tatva means principle. To begin with, the five tatvas are earth, water, air, ether and fire. These are five tatvas and then there is the mind, intellect ego. Then there is the maha tatva which is beyond the ego. The one who has gone beyond the ego is called Mahatma. Finer than the maha tatva is the guru tatva. The guru tatva is that principle of discrimination, of knowledge and when it dawns inside you, that is guru tatva. In knowledge then you have no dearth for anything. Life’s mission is complete. Guru tatva always brings joy, freedom from misery and upliftment of the consciousness.
Q: Dear Sri Sri, please guide me on how I can serve humanity. Lots and lots of love.
Guruji: Yes, come join the band wagon. Come join and think about what we can all do together. See alone when we do it, individually, it is a small effort. There is not much result. In fact, we burn out, we get tired. But as a group we can do a lot. Ok?
Q: There are many kinds of love but how to find out love of your life? To spend the rest of the life with only that person
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I leave the choice to you and give the blessings for it. And one thing, you know, whatever you choose, you should be aware of this danger: somebody else would have been better. So, it’s better not to choose anybody. One whom you choose, you'll regret you should have chosen somebody else. That situation is also very much possible. So choice is yours, blessings mine.
Q: why does judgment exist? where does it come from?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Judgment is a set of concepts which appears to be obsolete. An opinion or a concept which becomes obsolete, you call it judgment.Not the judgment that the judge gives in the court, but the one you come up with.You have an opinion of a person or a concept or a situation, when that breaks then you look back and you say, ‘Oh, I have a judgment of it.’ If it doesn’t break that’s when you say, ‘Oh, I know it is knowledge, oh you know I know that’s how it is’. You call it judgment when it is obsolete that means it has broken or proved to be false. Right?
Judgment is opposite of intuition, intuition is the right opinion. Judgment is the wrong opinion.“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ Sri Sri Ravishankar
© The Art of Living Foundation
For Global Spirituality