From Celebrating Silence- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar

A plum once said, just because a banana lover came by, I converted myself into a banana. Unfortunately, his taste changed after a few months and so I became an orange. When he said I was bitter I became an apple, but he went in search of grapes. Yielding to the opinions of so many people, I have changed so many times that I no more know who I am.
How I wish I had remained a plum and waited for a plum lover.

Just because a group of people do not accept you as you are, there is no necessity for you to strip yourself of your originality. You need to think good of yourself, for the world takes you at your own estimate. Never stoop down in order to gain recognition. Never let go of your
true self to win a relationship. In the long run, you will regret that you traded your greatest glory – your uniqueness, for momentary
validation. Even Gandhi was not accepted by many people. The group that does not accept you as you is not your world. There is a world for each one of you, where you shall reign as king /queen by just being yourself. Find that world… in fact, that world will find you.

What water can do, gasoline cannot and what copper can, gold cannot. The fragility of the ant enables it to move and the rigidity of the tree enables it to stay rooted. Everything and everybody has been designed with a proportion of uniqueness to serve a purpose that we can fulfil only by being our unique self. You as you alone can serve your purpose and I as I alone can serve my purpose. You are here to be you… just you.
There was a time in this world when a Krishna was required and he was sent; a time when a Christ was required and he was sent; a time when a Mahatma was required and he was sent; a time when a J.R.D.Tata was required and he was sent. There came a time when you were required on this planet and hence you were sent. Let us be the best we can be. Don’t miss yourself and let the world not miss you.

In the history of the universe, there has been nobody like you and to the infinite of time to come, there will be no one like you. Existence should have loved you so much that it broke the mould after making you, so that another of your kind will never get repeated. You are original. You are rare. You are unique. You are a wonder. You are a masterpiece. .. your Master’s piece. Celebrate your Uniqueness.

The rise and fall of Inquiries!!

The thought has struck me often. Only that I was reluctant to put it in words and share with the world. But I guess now is the time.
Knowledge- what is it??? A broad term I guess!! How about knowing oneself?? Isn’t that the highest one in our lives? Who am I ? What am I here for? What is the purpose of life?

Its been easier for me to gather a solution to a math problem ( math- which is actually Greek for me) 😉 than knowing answers to these questions. When I was in 4th standard, I thought I would be happy if I stood first in class in this term. And then the next. Then finally the whole year. Well, I actually did. This scenario continued for years. When would I win the best dancer’s award. The 10th standard was worst… the whole year I was worried more about marks and less about studying. Whenever I tried studying, the fear of the huge syllabus didn’t let me concentrate.

It was in college that I noticed it was a routine for me. Procrastinating stuff, just worrying, thinking about work while I was watching TV and wondering about how I would look in the black dress while I was trying to pay attention in the class. Life was frustrating. Not getting good marks in the class. I was losing self-respect.

It is said that certain events change your life forever. Well, I would say that holds true for me too, but the impact on my mind is gradual. Certain happenings, certain revelations. I always thought it would be nice to have someone guide me through this paradigm as I was not capable of doing so myself. But the contradictory thought that the human mind is capable of coping up with any situation too surfaced.

And then it struck. My mom taught me to walk. She is my first guru in life. My dad taught me math on the abacus. My second guru. My nani guided me through applying butter on bread and teaching me counting in Hindi. Each school teacher who gave me soo much knowledge. The pundit ji in the temple, who told awesome stories from the scriptures, wasn’t he a guru??? I guess the word has been stereotyped too much in the oriental world.
If these small things need a trainer, the answers to biggest questions in life but obviously had to be guided by a guru, moreso a teacher. ( I guess the youngsters don’t like the term too much). The presence did give me so much I had never expected I would get.

The realization did actually open many doors for me. Instead of receiving any thought with skepticism, I rather opened up my mind. The path wasn’t too easy, I would say it still is not. Accepting your shortcomings and working on them. I do get angry and mad at people  I don’t complete my work efficiently, I accept a lot. But I tell you, accepting all these issues had solved half the problems for me.

Things started changing, I could see myself improving. And then when you traverse the emotions and are with oneself, that we have the time to ask- who we are??? What am I doing in this world for chrissake??? And we dive into knowledge. Does helping people makes me feel happy? Why? Maybe because my ego gets satisfied!! My inner self expands!! So wasn’t it for our own sake that we helped someone???

Situation zoom out::
Wasn’t it all the work of a master??? Who actually is a part of me? The knowledge from the scriptures??? The understanding of me to answer both the big and small questions? How can we decline the presence?
The witness of self is the witness of the master. The presence which helped me break away from patterns big and small, aren’t we all stuck in these??

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Into the blissful unknown

And so the world rolls on further a bit..
Time flies when you dont care about it..
When feelings and emotions offer pleasures as a bait..
Our commitment is the thread which holds our fate..
Its an old saying which I actually found true..
Focus on charity and the Divine manyfolds gives back to you!

The joy and sorrow come unannounced, unexpected, unknown..
In such moments, we realize how much we have grown..
Untouched I am from everything around me!
The feeling comes and sets me free..
Unfathomable is this happiness that freedom brings..
Enlivening is this melody that Nature sings..

Something timeless which has been witnessing me..
Is actually me whoever whatever I may be..
Something serene has been always with me..
It is my Self, this I myself see..
Somewhere I always wanted to be..
I have been always there, wherever I may be..
Whatever I need, God will surely give..
Keeping this faith, Thats how I live!

Qualities of a healthy romantic relationship

Sharing one interesting QnA from Bawa.

Q:What are the qualities of a healthy romantic relationship?

Bawa: The first thing: for a healthy relationship, both people must be focused on something bigger than themselves. Your boyfriend or girlfriend can’t be your focus. If you’re focused on each other, the relationship breaks. The second thing: you need to give and take. Give generously and take graciously. If you only give and don’t take, the other person will feel obligated. Just look at romantic movies. When they are focused on each other they die in the end. Like Romeo and Juliet. But, in Indiana Jones, he was focused on getting the stone. There was a girl, but she was just there.

From Guruji:

Q: Comment about attraction, desire and entanglement. How can we avoid entanglement?

Sri Sri: You are the source of energy.  Attraction happens when the energy on you wakes up.  It is just electro-magnetic energy. One energy manifests at various points in the body (the seven chakras) as different flavours, different colours.  When attraction gets satisfied very quickly, then love does not blossom in life.  When attraction is difficult to attain, it turns into love; and when that love matures, it becomes unconditional, it turns into dedication or devotion, the ultimate.

Love and longing go together.  If there is no longing, if u kill the longing, then love also slowly dies way. How can you keep the longing alive? By being centered, by being in yourself. Do not get completely lost in the other person, this becomes too much for the other person as well. Getting lost in the other person is called entanglement. If two lines run parallel, with some goal ahead, they will always be parallel, but if they focus only on one another, they will meet, cross and go in opposite directions! So, with attraction, you come together, meet and then separate; but if there is a goal, then the attraction remains forever. That’s why, in life, your charm is never lost when are well-founded and centered, when your attention is on the knowledge.

Love has no completion… because it is infinity.  Something which has no boundary also has no completion. Radha is the longing, and Krishna is the love. Sometimes, the longing brings pain.  To avoid the pain, you try to fill your space with something, but that pain makes you deep.

Sources of Enthusiasm and Energy

Sign of Life is enthusiasm and sign of Success is smile.

I am working for about  15 or more hrs a day for last couple of days along with other activities (volunteering etc ) and then too never felt dull, lack of energy and still charged for party , sports or doing 108 Sun salutations. I find myself joyful, ever fresh and enthusiastic. I can feel the energy vibrations each moment. I was just pondering over that and thought about the sources of enthusiasm.  Usually in life there will be certain moments, certain things which will keep us High on life, which will bring spark to life to your presence. Those will be the time when you will be in your SELF (touch your being) and that moment will take away all the dullness, boredom, any negativeness. It will flood you with lots of energy, enthusiasm.

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And I bet you can be high on life every moment. (Without Alcohol…which keeps you high for some time, them makes you completely drained for more time)…Here once you touch the high you can maintain it forever. (I mean with breathing techniques like Pranayams, Sudershan Kriya).

Just to start with let’s think about the sources of energy.  There are four sources of energy – food, sleep, breath, and calm /clear state of mind or meditation.

Food: Always eat food with high Prana/energy. Vegetarian food is the best. Eat the food which makes you fresher than the food which will make you dull (oily, sweeter, deserts, meat). Just I want to quote one rule of thumb which I follow from Aurveda. Don’t eat anything for 3 hrs after you eat anything (i.e. Eat whatever you can digest in 3 hrs) and don’t be hungry for more than 6 hrs.

Next Sleep: better if you can take for 6-7 hrs. More or less will make you feel dull again.

Breathing is very important; without breath, there is no value for our bodies. MOST IMPORTANT.

A few minutes of deep meditation gives so much energy.

Following are few secrets of maintaining your enthusiasm, dynamism, keenness of mind and well-being :

  1. Breathing:Breathing is life force of life. It s the most important source of energy. Anyways we take breath till the last moment. Better be aware of it and understand it. I feel energized with every incoming breath. Breathing techniques like pranayama channelizes the life force energy in our body. We all float in a sea of prana (life-force energy).
  2. Meditation: Meditation gives complete rest and enthusiasm.  More the peaceful we inside are we become more dynamic outside. Inner Peace = Outer Dynamism (IPOD). Few minutes of meditation gives me so much of energy.  For being dynamic enthusiastic first you have to be at complete rest at home.  It’s like deeper the foundation of building taller it can go. It is said that 20 minutes of deep meditation is equivalent of 4 hrs of sleep.
  3. Physical Exercise/Yoga /Gym: It will flush your system to liveliness. Everyone must have experienced this. Yoga stretches removes the toxins in your body. So take time out jog, stretch and do some yoga.
  4. Creativity : Notice that whenever you do something creative, new, not routine; you feel enthusiastic lively completely in present moment. So be creative and do something new every day.                                              Creativity brings a new beginning for “time”. When you are creative, you break the monotony of time. Everything becomes fresh and alive. Creativity brings along with it a new round of enthusiasm. When you are enthusiastic you are closer to the creative principle of existence. Deep silence is the mother of creativity. No creativity can come out of one who is too busy, worried, over-ambitious or lethargic. Balanced activity, rest and yoga can kindle skills and creativity in you.
  5. Reading inspirational quotes, stories, blogs, articles… When you are upset, sad and you read some inspiration book/article you start feeling good. Something happens inside you. You start feeling good and get courage to do something. Knowledge is great source of energy. It can motivate you and generate enthusiasm.
  6. Being with Loved ones: you feel more relaxed, calm and yet uplifted more enthusiastic.
  7. Challenges: Challenge yourself everyday. A challenge take away boredom caused by monotonous tasks and keeps you pumped up.
  8. Service, Stretch helping hand: Observe how you feel when you help somebody. It is help to others but more than that see how feels.  When service is expression of your joy, love it brings lots of enthusiasm, energy and can never tire you.                                                                                                                                                                                   “If you are unhappy, go out and serve. You will become happy…Unhappiness comes when you sit and think about yourself and brood about yourself and worry about yourself. The candle is burning for you, you don’t have to do anything. The sun is shining for you, there is nothing to do. You have to be grateful, sit below it and serve. Be in love. It’s as simple as that.”  – SSRS
  9. Music of Life: Your favorite music track running, favorite drink (for me its water) in hand, perfect weather…how does it make you feel?  More energetic more enthusiastic. Right!                                                          Music unites all our hearts. Like music is the rhythm of the sound, the harmony in the sound, life also has to move in harmony. When all the different aspects of life are harmonized, life becomes music. Otherwise, it is noise!
  10. Let it go: Process of letting go is amazing. It is 3 step process.  Breath in, Hold and let go.  Take energy from the cosmos with each breath in (and there is lot of it …unlimited). With each breath out let go off all the worries, stresses, negative thoughts. The moment you let it go you are free and full of energy.
  11. Be 100% : In present moment. Right now right here. (Thoughtless mind, heart full of love n hands always busy).
  12. In the presence of more energetic, enthusiastic person.
  13. Deep Rest: There is one saying in Chinese which says: If nothing works , you are confused just go and sleep. Take deep rest, go for vacation etc. This will recharge you.

The above things keep recahrging battery of my life. Do comment and share the things that keeps you energetic and enthusiastic.

Our nature is joy, and enthusiasm. However sometimes it gets clouded but it can never go. Our consciousness is ‘nitya-nutan’ (ever fresh). This is with us forever.

Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy

Become one whose enthusiasm never dies, come what may.

enthusiasmJoy Gurudeva 🙂

The 4 truths that Buddha Discovered – Sri Sri Ravishankar

When Buddha got enlightened on that full moon day in the month of May, it is said that he maintained silence for the whole week. He did not say a word.. Mythology says that all the angels in the heaven were frightened. They knew that it was only once in a millennium that someone blossoms like Buddha. Now he was silent! The angels then requested him to say something. He said, “Those who know, they know even without my saying and those who do not know, will not know even if I say something. Any description of light to a blind man is of no use. There is no point in talking to those who have not tasted the ambrosia of life, and therefore I am silent.

How can you convey something so intimate and personal? Words cannot. And as many scriptures in the past have declared words end where truth begins.”

The angels said, “What you say is right. But consider those who are on the borderline, who are neither fully enlightened nor totally ignorant.( Refer The way to get rid of the obstacles – SriSri ) For them, a few words will give a push, for their sake you speak and every word of yours will create that silence.”

The purpose of words is to create silence. If words create more noise, then they have not reached their goal. Buddha’s words would definitely create silence, because Buddha is the manifestation of silence. Silence is the source of life and is the cure for diseases. When people are angry, they maintain silence. First they shout and then comes the silence. When one is sad, they ask to be left alone and retreat into silence. Similarly, silence is the recourse one takes to if ashamed. If one is wise too, there’s silence.

When Jesus was asked, “Are you the son of God?” he kept silent; it was the wisest thing to do. When you are telling someone you have a pain in the leg and they want you to prove it, how is that possible?

When you cannot prove something as deep as pain how can you prove something like enlightenment or divinity? Joy and fulfillment bring silence while desire brings noise.

Look at the noise in your mind. What is it about? More money? More fame? More recognition? Fulfillment? Relationship? The noise is about something; silence is about nothing. Silence is the basis; noise is the surface.

From the very beginning Buddha lived a very satisfied life. Any pleasure was at his feet the moment he wanted it. One day he said, “I would like to go and see what the world is.”

He started thinking when he saw someone who was sick, someone who was old and someone who was dying. These three instances were good enough to bring in him the knowledge that there is misery. When he saw someone sick, he said, “enough! I have experienced it.” Just one glimpse of an old man and a corpse was enough Buddha said, “there is no joy in life; I am dead already! There is no meaning in life. Let me go back.”

Buddha set out in quest of truth, all by himself, leaving his palace, wife and son.
Stronger the silence, powerful will be the questions that arise from such a silence.

Nothing could stop him. He knew he wouldn’t be able to get away during day, so he quietly escaped at night and his search continued for several years. He did all that people told him to do, he went from place to place, fasted, and he walked many paths, before discovering four truths.

1 : “There is misery (Dukha) in the world.”
In life, there are only two possibilities: one is to observe the world around us and know from others’ suffering and futile exercises,
the second is experience it and find that it is misery.
There is no third possibility. If you are sensitive, you don’t need to go through all that yourself. You can look at those who are suffering and become wise.

2 : The second truth is, “There is a cause for misery.” You can be happy without a reason. Joy does not need a reason, laughter does not need a joke but misery has a cause.

3 : The third truth is, “It is possible to eliminate misery.”

4 : The fourth truth is, “There is a path to be out of misery.”

Following the four truths, he gives the eight-fold path of right equanimity, right vision, right silence, right meditation etc. Buddha also said that the three things to do are Sheela, which means conduct, Samadhi, which means an equanimous meditative state, and Pragya, which means awareness.

Buddha was born at a very interesting time in India’s history, at a time when India was prosperous and had reached its height in philosophical thinking. In a highly intellectual society, people think they know it all, but in fact, they have not known at all. This was the case in India. So Buddha said, “Come, I have a simple technique for you. Keep your concepts to yourself, but just come and sit.” Then Buddha gave them four steps.
They are:

1 : Observe the body (Kayaanu Paschana)

2 : Observe the sensations (Vedananu Paschana)

3 : Observe the flow of mind (Chittanu Paschana)

4 : Observe your true nature (Dhammanu Paschana)

So, Buddha spoke and taught for years. Thousands would sit still, observe and meditate and become free. Buddha would not indulge in any philosophic discussion.

I think it is mandatory for every psychologist to study Buddha! . Buddha has propounded all that there is to know about the mind and its functions in such a methodical manner.

Mind is noise; the source of the mind is silence. That’s why Buddha said, “no mind”. He was referring to the chain of thoughts that simply wander in the mind all the time.

At a time when there was so much prosperity, Buddha gave a begging bowl to his main disciples and asked them to go and beg! He made kings take off their royal robes and take a bowl in their hand! Not that they were in need of food but he wanted to teach them the lesson of becoming ‘nobody’ from being ‘somebody’. You are nobody; you are insignificant in this Universe. When kings and geniuses of that time were asked to beg, they became embodiments of compassion.

Observe your true nature. What is your true nature? It is peace, compassion, love, friendliness and joy and it is silence that gives birth to all this.. Silence swallows the sadness, guilt, and misery and gives birth to joy, compassion and love. Buddha came to take away the misery, the guilt, the fear, the arrogance, the ignorance, and bring back wisdom, strength, beauty, knowledge and peace.

Joy Gurudeva 🙂