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Art of Living members....meet here!!

Discussion in 'Religious places & Spiritual people' started by raginiprakash, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    GANESH -- THE LORD OF WISDOM

    --- By His Holiness SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR

    Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated on the day on which Lord Ganesha is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Though it is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the symbolism behind the festival is much deeper.

    The essence of Ganeshji is brought out beautifully by Adi Shankara. Though Ganeshji is worshiped as the the elephant-headed God, the form (swaroop) is just to bring out its parabrahma roopa. Ganeshji is described as Ajam Nirvikalpam Niraakaaramekam. This means that Ganeshji is never born.
    He is Ajam (unborn), he is Niraakaar (formless) and he is Nirvikalpa (attributeless). Ganeshji symbolises the consciousness which is omnipresent. Ganeshji is not somewhere outside of us, but the very centre of our life. In reality, Ganeshji is formless; yet there is a form to which Adi Shankara prayed and that form carries the message of the formlessness of Ganeshji. Thus, the form serves as the starting point and gradually the formless consciousness begins to manifest.
    Ganesh Chaturthi marks a unique art of reaching formless Paramatma called Lord Ganesh by repeated worship of the manifest form of Ganesha. Even the Ganesh Stotram, the prayers recited in the praise of Ganeshji, conveys the same. We pray to Ganeshji in our consciousness to come out and sit in the idol for us for a while so that we can play with him. And after the puja, we again pray asking him to go back to where he comes from; that’s our consciousness. While he is in the idol, we offer back whatever God has given us through the puja of the idol.

    The ritual of immersing (visaran) the idols after few days of worship reinforces the understanding that God is not in the idol, it’s inside us.
    So experiencing the omnipresent in the form and deriving joy out of the form is the essence of the Ganesha Chaturthi festival.

    Ganeshji is the lord of all the good qualities in us. So when we worship him, all the good qualities will blossom in us. He is also the lord of knowledge and wisdom. When there is inertia, there is no knowledge, no wisdom, nor is there any liveliness (Chaitanya) or progress in life. So the consciousness has to be awakened and the presiding deity of consciousness is Ganeshji. That’s why before every puja, the Lord Ganesha is worshiped to awaken the consciousness.
    Therefore, install the idol, worship it with infinite love, meditate and experience Lord Ganesha from within. This is the symbolic essence of Ganesh Chaturti festival, to awaken the Ganesha tatva which is masked inside us.

    JAI GURUDEV.
     
  2. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    Question and Answers with Guruji.


    Q: Is nature, you and me are all the same?
    Sri Sri: See oneness when you have to and see difference too when you have to . You cannot put your hands in some one elses pocket and claim as yours. Then He explained the structure of the temple and its hidden message beautifully.
    In Tamilnadu temples you will find the vahanam (vehicle of the Lord which is normally an animal) before the Garbagriha (Main Deity) indicating that we leave our animal nature behind before having the Divine darshan. In many temples after having the darshan of the main deity we enter into a room with mirrors all over. This is for looking at our own face. Happiness reflected is proof enough for having the darshan of the Divine.


    Q:What is the significance of 'PRANAM'.
    Sri Sri: 'PRAN NA MA' yeh pran mera nahi. (This 'Praan' (life force energy or life)is not mine)


    Q:In certain temples chanting is done just for the heck of it. Its not done from the heart. In such a case will it have good effect on impact?
    Sri Sri: No. it may not have as good impact. If chanting is done with the meaning and as well as the bhava(feelings), then there will be a very good impact. Like during Navratri. How many have you have felt the energy during the Navratri puja? Because all the priests who chants knows what
    they are chanting.
    Some mantras are absorbed in water/milk/honey/yogurt. Chanting elevates/energies the consciousness when done in a meditative state. Different types of flowers and leaves have different effect.


    Q: As the saying goes, "charity begins at home". How can we do seva outside when we are needed at home?
    Sri sri: You are talking about your spouse? You need to balance. If you say I'll do all my home work before I do seva then that will never happen. Because so many things keep coming for home and it will not stop. You cannot neglect your home also. But at home it's called duty not seva. Outside it is seva.


    Q:Whenever I feel like doing seva, I start finding excuses. Bless me that I can do some seva.
    Sri sri : Just keep doing seva, blessings are already there. Good things in life you should not delay. Just do it. Whenever you get a chance to do spiritual practice, seva, generosity, don't miss it. Those are the real catchy moments of your life.


    Q:Can there be light without darkness, peace without war?
    Sri Sri: During the day, if you have to create darkness, then you have to create it unnaturally, like closing all doors in a room. So light & peace are natural occurrences; of course natural calamities have always occurred and will continue but it increases when we exploit nature; and that is what is happening today we need to save the environment its only human beings who exploit nature and spread waste.
    Animals never do. Have you ever been to a forest and seen animal waste lying around?.....
    Animals always clean up, maintain the ecological balance.similarly in ancient times, even today among tribals, the tradition of honouring nature, keeping clean continues.so we should not destroy nature, our bodies by doing unnatural things to destroy them before their time.
    At the same time periods of darkness, difficult situations help in our growth; makes us stronger so good also comes out of unpleasantness(He gave the example of how children growing up in slums have better immunity systems than us). But still, peace is absolutely necessary because creativity blossoms only in peace. All great happenings have been only in peaceful eras.


    Q:Why do we have to obtain Nirvana while in this physical body?
    Sri Sri:To cleanse the other two spaces, because once we leave the spirit, the mind leaves this body; the mind can not be cleansed outside there. It can not be rid of any thoughts out there, once out of the body. So the body is the instrument in which the space can wash itself out from past impressions. And that is what the Buddha called the nirvana it is here and be in your space and that you are nobody and nothing.


    Q:What is the importance of self-effort and grace?
    Sri Sri:If you want to be on the path self effort is very important. Do your Sadhana,Satsang and Seva. But once on the path relax. Like you run to catch a train, but once in the train stop running and relax. If you do not get caught up with reading and watching movies you could see a lot of interesting stuff and learn from it.


    Q:If love is the nature of human, why is there so much hatred among people?
    Sri Sri: Because love devoid of knowledge gives rise to imperfection. You love perfection and get angry at imperfection. If you love somebody, you become jealous and possessive.Love is the cause of all problems in the world. Through love, jealousy, anger and hatred all come out.
    But we cannot live without love. Even a dog may not like to live without love. It would refuse to eat food, if it is not able to see its master. So love is the most wanted thing for everybody. Yet all these
    imperfections and all these problems arise out of love. So what is the answer ? We need such a love which is free from imperfection and that can be attained only through knowledge. "So love minus knowledge is problem and love with knowledge is bliss."


    Q:What is the difference between Religion and Spirituality?
    Sri Sri: Religion is the skin of the banana and spirituality the fruit. We tend to throw away the fruit and catch hold of the skin of the banana and proclaim that my skin is better than your skin and fight. No other nation in the world has given so much importance to spirituality like India.


    JAI GURUDEV.




     
  3. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    Q & A from the very recent Advanced Course in Tamil.

    Q: We stand for hours together to see the deity. But when we go near the sanctum our eyes close automatically. Why so? Is it allright?
    Guruji: Yes, it is allright. You experience only when you close the eyes. Get your mind inwards and worship. Mind runs. Where? Ornaments. People are so crazy and they go for window-shopping. Go all around the market; see things and no intention of buying them. These days you all get glued to the television. But 30-40 years back, window-shopping was the in thing. Mind gets glued to objects. It goes after attractive things and glamorous things. Eatables, good mucic.. so in the ancient days, they put everything in the temple. They used to decorate the temple nicely; serve delicious prasad; fill the air with fragrance. All just to unify the senses and take us into meditation. Without understanding this, we go on celebrating radha kalyanam, seetha kalyanam, on and on and on…Kalyan means that which is good for everybody. We get stuck in these rituals. Once in a while it is good to do these things so that the children know about it. We don’t do either pranayam or meditation. So the atheists begin to question why all the pomp and show?

    Guruji had been to a temple near chennai. The deity is called Nithyakalyana perumal. The priest of the temple was so interested in telling the story to guruji. Rishi Kalanemi was living in that area. There were 365 girls who could not get married. The Rishi prayed to god and god agreed to marry all of them, one each day. Every day in the year there was marriage or anniversary. Hence the name NithyaKalyana. The Rishi got liberation afterwards.
    And these innocent people believe that the story is true. Then they begin to doubt. What is the need for god to marry so many? Why god could not find suitable bridegroom for these girls? We need to understand the secret. The whole world behaves according to the laws of nature. If you think of god on a daily basis, everyday is going to be celebration. Then even the laws of the world will join the celebration. Life will be a big celebration.

    Kumbabhishekam is a custom followed in temples. Shakthi which is in space form is brought into air form; the shakthi is then transformed into fire elemt; and through an utensil known as kudam (in tamil) it is brought into water element and then finally into earth element. Agamam is to create shakthi. It is good to know about the procedures. Without understanding people practice and follow things. It is good to understand and then do things. You do mantra chants and then sit and medidate for some time. Every atom will then be oozing with energy. The inner awakening will then materialize.

    Q : Would you please encourage our husbands wash utensils and cut vegetables even at home just as they did here during the advance course? :) (Followed by loud cheering from all the women in the course).
    Guruji : yes yes definitely. But then it would be nice if you too maintained silence at home just the way you did in the advance course. :) (Followed by loud cheering by all the men in the course).


    Q : I miss you very much. Do you miss me?
    Guruji : When I am in your mind its only me who exist. But when I am not in your mind I miss you very much. I long for you.


    Q: Why are wise men born in India?
    Guruji:Why are Alps only in Switzerland? Sun only in Norway? To see Northern Lights you have to go to Norway. here is no answer. If you want to have snow, skiing & lakes it is in Switzerland. Apples are grown only in cold climate- Kashmir, not in tropical climate. India also needed something , so we have spirituality. here. Global karma from time to time.

    Once upon a time the fame of India was so much that Christopher Columbus went to find India & found America. There was no phone. But people knew about silk etc. & then the time came for England who ruled the whole world for several 100 years. The sun never sank in the British Kingdom. Then Soviet Union, at one time, just took the globe & then that disappointed America. Global phenomenon. You can just wonder about it. Earth has its own Maths,Geography, History.
    So perhaps this part of the world was chosen for sprituality or India would have been left behind.


    Q: How to increase Bhakthi (Devotion), Shakthi (Power) and Yukthi (Skill)?
    Guruji: don’t ever doubt if you have bhakthi or not. Know that you have it in plenty. The same is the case with love. You are made up of love. Like the body is made of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals (also bones, flesh and blood), you are made up of love. You don’t doubt shkathi either. You have so much of power. You can actually supply one month of electricity to Chennai with your power. Even that is just a small amount. Every atom has that much energy. The power of the mind is so much more than the atom. Cloud veils the sun and in sun’s presence moon cant be seen. But it is there. Shakthi is also like that. It may not express now. But it may manifest later. But you need to make effort to increase your yukthi. Bhakthi and Mukthi come on its own (almost automatically). You make effort to increase shakthi and yukthi.

    Doubt is a big problem. What is doubt? What are the types? You analyse and see. You doubt only good things. If someone says he is a bad person you don’t doubt that. But at the same time if someone says he is a good person you doubt that. If someone says I love you too much. You ask Really? You don’t doubt the anger that someone has. You doubt love, honesty. We doubt ability and don’t doubt our inability. Once we feel we can do something we don’t doubt that anymore. You doubt the doubt. That is wisdom. You doubt God? Why? Because god is truth! A depressed person does not doubt his depression.

    3 types of doubt.Self- doubt: It is a disease if it becomes too much! People doubt themselves to an extreme. Once a couple had to reach a satsang venue. What is supposed to be a 10-minute thing actually took 3 hrs. the wife told guruji that the husband does not come easily from house. He checks if he has locked 4 times. After a short distance of travel, he goes back to check again. He repeated this exercise and it ended up taking 3 hrs!! In Bhagavad Geetha, Lord Krishna says that if the Atma is immersed in doubts, then that person cannot come up!
    The other type of doubt is about the people or world or others. You begin to see everyone around with a suspicious eye. They are here to do something to me, to take away something from me. You typically
    see them as useless folks, thieves, and crooks.
    The third type is about god.Is he there?
    You get such doubts even in meditation. How are others meditating? You gently open your eyes and see what others are doing. They seem to be in bliss and I am the only one who does not have any kind of an experience. I tell you they also do the same when you keep your eyes closed.

    Don’t think if you can medidate or not. We would have told you if you are not elgible. You are actually fortunate to be here.leave self doubt. Don’t doubt the technique or the practice. Your mind would go on asking why you are wasting your time. Your mind would say observe breath when it stops. Now when it is moving, you also run along. Doubts don’t allow you to progress in life. Actually when you doubt, you don’t think it as a doubt. You believe in that. If you become aware of the doubt when it arises, you are already out of it!

    Trust is key thing. You trust your company will pay your salary at the end of every month. That’s why you work for them. It applies to the bank with which you have deposited your money. With out much thought, people put money in chit funds. They loot and disappear saying bye bye. You keep chanting muruga muruga!! Then you get into astrology, horoscope and what not. We go to a doctor with trust. If you ask him will it work? Its funny. Even if the doctor provides you a guarantee you need to trust his words. You place more weightage to the paper that he writes than his words! You can’t live life in doubt.
    Trust is the foundation of life. Without the foundation, can you build a building? For that matter, don’t go to the other extreme of carelessness. You start leaving thing where you wish. Then it will start disappearing . You neither be an ignorant one nor be doubting ghost. Balance and walk the middle path. You move on without any prejudice in mind. Keep your mind clear and practices are for that.


    Q: Isnt Self trust sufficient? Why trust in god in needed?
    Guruji: Kadavul (God) = Kadal (Sea) + Ul (In). God is the ocean inside. God is the all-pervading consciuousness. God is the light. God has no form. But you need to celebrate the form so that you mind synthesizes. Mistake is to think that god is inside form. We waste time dealing in the surface level. Whole world is made up of love (God). Love is Supreme. It is the Supreme Light. But then why there are so many devis and devathas? If white light passes through a prism, 7 colors emerge out of it. It is very much like that. Each quality of god manifests through different devis and devatahas. Just like in Islam where you invoke 99 different names of God, we chant 1008 sahasaranama or 108 ashtotram in India. Along with the name we gave form.
    With the same wheat you make chapathi, Karachi halwa, poori, samosa and naan. Why different things? Why not make the same thing. Similarly with rice we make vermicelli, idly, dosa, lemon rice, curd rice, etc., we love variety. Isnt it? God too loves variety. That’s why different kinds of people exist in this world. It goes with the vegetables and fruits. Creation is of multiple varieties. So why not the creator? But don’t stop at the form. Go beyond into the meditative state. Mantra chants has a definite effect on the mind. And then light dawns on you.


    At one point of time, Arunji the advance course teacher read out a confession written by one of the participants supposedly. It went on like this :-- One who surrenders only when he does wrong things is a fool. One who surrenders whether he does right or wrong is ignorant. One who surrenders knowing that he has done right is a Husband.

    Roars of laughter erupted !!! Guruji was laughing like anything Big Laughand then he turned around to coolly pass a comment. “Oh! Today is Arunji’s wedding annniversary!”. :rotfl You can imagine what would have happened to the entire crowd...


    Jai Gurudev !!
     
  4. sweethome

    sweethome New IL'ite

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    In life, we may think that we have done a great deal of favours and sacrifices for others. However, those who benefited from our favours may think otherwise. They may even wonder what is so great about our efforts.

    When it comes to God, we always think that whatever we have done for His sake is trivial. But God Almighty accords the greatest importance even to our smallest efforts in His direction

    ---- SRI SRI MURALIDHARA SWAMIJI
     
  5. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    Q & A WITH GURUJI ON NDTV


    Q - Now a days there is so much tension in the society, so people are more willing to try out methods of relaxation, but how was it in the early 80's ? Did you have to face a lot of problems ?
    Guruji - Yes in the initial days it was difficult to talk to people about yoga, meditation etc esp the people outside India, but slowly the testimonials of the ppl who benefited from the programs spread and more and more people came into the Art of Living family.


    Q- You have always mantained a very spiritual profile as opposed to a religious one. But sometimes in some events, like the one you supported VHP in the Ganga cleansing, did you feel maintaining that equilibrium became difficult ?
    Guruji - Religion is something that a person is born with and he remains associated with that through life through various events. Whereas spirituality is something bigger and deeper and can transform a person. I always say religion is like the skin of the banana and spirituality is the actual stuff ! Rivers like Ganga is very important to mankind, and cleaning it is very essential. When the cause is just and it brings benefit to many we should not see who is executing the project. Just because some religious organisation is doing it, it should not become untouchable for us.


    Q - Guruji, your canvas is huge, at one level you are impacting the invidual at other levels you are going to strife torn areas like Kashmir. Do you find it difficult at times?
    Guruji - Not at all. Satisfaction of an individual cannot be obtained through any events. It has to be internal. And only when an individual is truly satisfied with himself, can he be of service to others. We can consider entire world as one-world family, so we have to be available to our family members whenever they need it. The entire mankind is a 6 billion strong family !


    Q - Do you want to give any message to the Kashmiris ?
    Guruji - Think with an open and calm mind. And become financially independent, only with financial independence, can freedom come.


    Q- Does the magnitude of the scale of your reach overwhelm you ?
    Guruji - No , Not at all! I feel I am not doing anything different, anything which is not in my nature.


    Q- Guruji, you have followers amongst so many political and business leaders. Is it more difficult to teach them because they carry so much weight with them.
    Guruji - No no, we teach whatever we have to teach. Whatever they have to pick up they will pick up. Only people come to spiritual organizations like ours, they come with a certain set of expectations.


    Q- Seeing the current condition of the society. are you worried ?
    Guruji- I do not worry, but yes I am concerned. Increased suicide rates, divorces, poor people are getting poorer ...


    Q- In your entire period of time, did you have to face any particular difficult challenges ?
    Guruji - Yes there are 2. One is ultra-left - who think all spiritual activities are rubbish and ultra-right - who are v conservative in their thinking. They are both stuck at some level. To deal with both these kind of people is a challenge.


    Q- Has the population in these 2 groups come down ?
    Guruji - Yes a lot , from the the time we started the Art of Living.


    Q- At this stage of your life, what do you seek ?
    Guruji- I am at home. I do not seek anything !


    Q-Guruji, I am so tempted for the sake our viewers to take a mini Art of Living course from you ? What would you like to tell the viewers esp the young population , knowing the kind of life that they are leading ?
    Guruji - (Facing the camera) You have your feet on the accelerator ! But do remember you have brakes too. If you go for shopping and do not apply the brakes what will happen ? In the same way, it is important to take breaks, to rest within yourselves through meditation. When you do that, you see there is so much energy right within you ! It gives you so much insight into the future ! Spirituality is a very practical thing in life, it is not something that is useful for the next life. Ofcourse , the next life becomes good , so does this life ! And yes one more thing, do not think only about yourself. Stretch your hand first ! Be of service to the society !


    JAI GURUDEV !
     
  6. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    SIMPLE STEPS TO REDUCE STRESS -- THE VEDIC WAY !


    1. Pray

    2. Go to bed on time.

    3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

    4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

    5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

    6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

    7. Less is more.

    8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

    9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

    10. Take one day at a time.

    11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

    12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

    13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

    14. K.M.S - [Keep Mouth Shut] -- This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

    15. Do something for the K.I.Y - [Kid in You] everyday.

    16. Carry a good Book with you to read while waiting in line.

    17. Get enough rest.

    18. Eat right.

    19. Get organized so everything has its place.

    20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

    21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

    22. Every day, find time to be alone.

    23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

    24. Keep a folder of favourite scriptures on hand.

    25. Laugh.

    26. Laugh some more!

    27. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

    28. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

    29. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

    30. Sit on your ego.

    31. Talk less; listen more.

    32. Slow down.


    Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you GOD ' . Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. God has a way of turning things around for you.

    God says, 'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'


    JAI GURUDEV.
     
  7. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    A GREEN MESSAGE

    With global warming a distinct reality, vanishing winters, failed monsoons, deforestation, large scale tree-felling making way to the massive malls and huge apartment complexes in India , Gurudev has asked people all over India to plant as many trees as possible. One such special tree is called Simarouba . Guruji calls this plant "Lakshmi Taru".

    A massive plantation drive is on in many parts of India to plant as many such trees and others bearing fruits and flowers , as part of the Mission Green Earth project, a 100 million tree plantation campaign.


    ' Lakshmi Taru ' saplings are sturdy in nature and can survive under all types of terrain, and soils with some depth for the roots to penetrate.

    This tree consumes highest amount of Carbon Dioxide and purifies the environment and can help in reducing the heat.

    It can grow in all types of degraded soils and waste lands. It can grow on barren land and reduces or stops the soil erosion.It requires very little water to grow. India has 60 million hectares wasteland and this land can be used for growing this tree.

    It is not grazed by cattle, goat or sheep.

    It sheds large quantities of leaves, which makes soil more fertile.

    Its long roots prevent soil erosion.It protects the soil from parching due to hot sun shine.

    It has a life of about 70 years.

    Its wood is termite resistant. It is not attacked by insects and pests.

    Its seeds can give edible oil, non edible oil and diesel. The seeds have 60 to 75% oil as against 30 t0 35% in peanuts, soybean. One tree can give around 15 to 30 kg seeds and from that can get around 2.5 to 5 Lt oil and equal amount of oil cake which can be used for bakery items,vegetable oils,soaps,cosmetics,bio-diesel.

    It has medicinal value, can be used to treat malaria and diarrhea.

    The fruit is edible and has a sweet pulp. The pulp of the seeds can be used for compost or drinking juice.

    The cover of the seeds can be used for making of card board.

    The wood of the tree can be used to make light furniture.


    SAVE THE PLANET --- PLANT A TREE TODAY !

    JAI GURUDEV !
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2008
  8. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    Navarathri ----- A Celebration of the Universe.

    --- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar, Times of India, 30th. Sep. 2008

    This period is a time for self-referral and getting back to the source. During this time of transformation, Nature sheds the old and gets rejuvenated. Vedanta says, matter reverts to its original form to recreate itself again and again. The creation is cyclical, not linear; everything is recycled by nature in a continuous process of rejuvenation. The human mind, however, lags behind in this routine cycle of creation.

    Navaratri is a festival to enable us to take the mind back to its source. The seeker finds the true source through fasting, prayer, silence and meditation. Night is called ratri because it brings rejuvenation. It gives relief at the three levels of our existence physical, subtle and causal. While fasting detoxifies the body, silence purifies speech and brings rest to the chattering mind, and meditation takes you deep into your own being. The inward journey nullifies our negative karmas.

    Navaratri is a celebration of the spirit or prana which alone can destroy Mahishasura , inertia; Shumbha-Nishumbha , pride and shame and Madhu-Kaitabh , extreme forms of craving and aversion. They are opposites, yet complementary. Inertia, deeply ingrained negativities and obsessions, Raktabeejasura ; unreasonable logic, Chanda-Munda and blurred vision, Dhoomralochan can be overcome only by raising the level of prana and shakti , the life-force energy.

    The nine days of Navaratri are also an opportunity to rejoice in the three primordial qualities that make up the universe. Though our life is governed by the three gunas , we seldom recognise and reflect on them. The first three days of Navaratri are tamo guna , the second three of rajo guna and the last three of sattva guna . Our consciousness sails through the tamo and rajo gunas and blossoms in the sattva guna in the last three days. Whenever sattva dominates life, victory follows. The essence of this knowledge is honoured by celebrating the tenth day as Vijaya Dashami. The three primordial gunas are considered as the feminine force of the universe. By worshipping the Mother Divine during Navaratri , we harmonise the three gunas and elevate sattva in the atmosphere.

    Navaratri is celebrated as the victory of good over evil. From the Vedantic point of view, the victory is of absolute reality over apparent duality. In the words of Ashtavakra , it is the poor wave which tries to keep its identity separate from the ocean, but to no avail. Though the microcosm is well within the macrocosm, its perceived separateness is the cause of conflict. For a gyani or a wise person, entire creation comes alive and he recognises life in everything in the same way children see life in everything. The Mother Divine or pure consciousness pervades all forms and has all names. Recognising the one divinity in every form and every name is the celebration of Navaratri . Hence, special pujas honouring all aspects of life and nature are performed during the last three days.

    Kali is the most horrific manifestation of Nature. Nature symbolises beauty, yet it has a horrific form too. Acknowledging the duality brings a total acceptance in the mind and puts the mind at ease. The Mother Divine is recognised not just as the brilliance of intellect buddhi , but also the confusion, bhranti ; she is not just abundance, Lakshmi, she is also hunger, shudha and thirst, trishna . Realising this aspect of the Mother Divine in entire Creation leads one to a deep state of samadhi . This gives an answer to the age-old theological struggle of the Occident.
    Through wisdom, devotion and nishkama karma , one can attain advaita siddhi or perfection in the non-dual consciousness.

    Jai Gurudev !
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  9. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    Another Beautiful Q & A session with our dear Guruji
    Bali, Indonesia - 2007.

    Someone had gifted Guruji a neat gadget - it was a small electric fan with lights. Sitting out in the darkness of night, the effect was wonderful - the lights changing from red to blue to green. Guruji was clearly having fun playing with it.

    Q : I used to have a Guru for four years but now for me you are my Guru. But I feel conflicted about leaving my old Guru.
    Sri Sri: (Smiles) Just relax. You know, whichever window you look from - it’s still the same sky. Guru is just a window. It’s still the same sky. So relax. Okay?


    Q : How many lifetimes will it take me to reach your state? And then what?
    Sri Sri: Guruji looked down at the stationary fan and clicked the switch to get it going again. “Then you can play with the fan!”


    Q : About the importance of love v/s knowledge
    Sri Sri: Knowledge is the preservative of love. Without knowledge love can change to hatred.


    Q: My husband doesn’t listen to me. I keep telling him but he doesn’t get it.
    Sri Sri: Okay, then you can do this. For three months, let him make all the decisions and then for three months you make all the decisions. When he makes a decision and it turns out to be the wrong one - then he will learn. Failure will teach him where success won’t. And the same applies to you!

    There’s a story - a husband was having problems as his wife was very stubborn. Whatever the husband said - the wife would do the opposite. The husband was very frustrated and he went to a saint. So the saint gave him some advice. Then a few months later the husband returned and he was smiling - he told the saint - “Your advice worked - whenever I wanted my wife to do something - I would tell her to do the opposite and then she did what I wanted. I would say - “I don’t think we should go out” and she would say - “no, no, we must go out.” So we would go out, which is what I wanted!
    It doesn’t matter, husband or wife - the same principle can work!


    Q : You are sacred, Guruji. You have seen everything. Can you tell us what are other worlds like? What is heaven like? What is hell?
    Sri Sri : This world is good enough! And don’t think I am sacred and you are not - no, no, what I am - you are!


    Q : I get very guilty over my mistakes.
    Sri Sri : Who knows what has happened in the past lifetimes. The wise man sees the past as desinty and the future as free will. The fool sees it the other way around - you decide what you want to be! Mistakes only happen when there is lack of awareness. Work on increasing your awareness.


    Q : How to know when the Big Mind is in action and when the small mind is in action?
    Sri Sri: When things are working well - the Big Mind is in action, when the small mind is in action there is mess - but the line is very delicate between the two.


    Q : How do I organize my priorities?
    Sri Sri: Priorities change depending on the situation. If someone is sick, then some travel may have to be canceled. When a baby is sick - the parents have to stay home - so in that way the priorities keep changing. But the highest priority is to bring people to knowledge. That is the highest priority.

    Keep some time in the calender for silence. Once a year, twice a year, take time off like this to be in silence, in meditation. The mind has so many impressions - it needs to be cleaned. You watch TV, you watch movies - if you are of the type who watches at least three movies in a month - then take time off three times in the year - to get some rest, to clean the impressions.

    (Guruji asked how many people wanted to sing or talk - then he asked to check which of our nostrils were active - “If your right nostril is active then you can understand me very well right now.” He continued - “You can tell so much from the breath - if the left nostril is active - it means you are thirsty - if Right nostril is active then digestion is happening - if both are active - then you are ready for meditation)


    Q: What is the difference between ego and self-confidence?
    Sri Sri: Ego can also be used as a motivator. Specially in young people it can be used to invoke valor. When a young person is not ready to do something - then when you say - “be a lion, not a pussycat!” - it can have an effect. There is a fine line between ego and self-confidence. Ego requires the other. Self-confidence is just knowing that I am vast, infinite.


    Q : Is self-realization sudden or gradual?
    Sri Sri : It can be very gradual - even you don’t know but you find yourself smiling more. This gentleman from America was telling me - Guruji, I don’t get bothered anymore - even bad situations - the worst situations, he is smiling. It’s quite funny.
    It can also happen suddenly - you wake up one day and you know you are too big for the mind-body complex. You are infinity. Both are possible.


    Q : Is prayer required if Divine takes care of everything?
    Sri Sri: You can do this experiment. Put your head in water and hold it there - when there is no breath then prayer just happens, isn’t it? Prayers happens when you are helpless and when you are grateful. Don’t think too much about it - it’s okay to pray. If you have faith that everything will be okay - that’s fine too.


    Q : How do we bring people of different religions to this knowledge?
    Sri Sri : See, the essence of every religion is peace, is tranquility. In Islam - it’s noor, rouniyat, in Christianity - it’s inner light, in Hinduism advaita - it’s the same - the essence is same. The basis of all religions is silence. Buddha never spoke about God. But here words are less important. If you are centered, calm, you exuberate knowledge. It will catch on. So people may say some things on the surface but deep inside their soul is longing for this. Meditation is food for the soul.


    Q : Do you take care of us? When we are in trouble are you there to take responsibility for us?
    Sri Sri : What am I here for then? :) (applause) . But they say you should help yourself. You give your 100% and I then I am there.


    Jai Gurudev !
     
  10. Grace3

    Grace3 Silver IL'ite

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    DON'T BE GRATEFUL!
    Germany, 1996.

    Guruji: How many of you are grateful here?
    (Everybody raises their hand.) If you are grateful, you don't belong to Me! (Everyone is shocked.) :shock: You are not part of the Master. When someone gives you something, you are grateful. That means you feel separate. You are not grateful to yourself.

    Gratefulness is inevitable. When you go beyond gratefulness, then union happens. No "I," no "you" remains. You are part of the Master. You are just One Being with a thousand heads and a thousand arms, but with one heart. You have got to be grateful on the path, but you have to transcend gratefulness. Better stop being grateful. (Laughter.)
    When you are grateful then you are the center, you are more important. When you are grateful to God for having received something beautiful, for example, eyesight, who is important? You or God? You! So your gratitude indicates ego.


    Q: But Guruji, then are you not grateful?
    Guruji: I am simply great and I am full! :clap (Laughter) Don't be grateful; just be great -- and be full! When you are part of the Master, you have every right to be happy. You have every right to Knowledge, happiness, and the whole universe!

    Some devotee: Small children dont feel grateful as long as they feel one. They take everything for granted. You are not grateful to your own hand which feeds you.


    Q: On one of the courses you said in the thanking process, "Now, thank yourself for being here!" So can we thank ourselves ?
    Guruji: if you wish, you can! This is true celebration: thanking yourself!


    Q: Could you say something about a person's relationship to friends and the person's relationship to the Master?
    Guruji: Your friends tie you to the world, to the matter. The Master ties you to the Divine, to the spirit.


    Jai Gurudev !



     

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