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Archive for January, 2008

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Q: Guruji, why bad people are happy and good people are suffering?

Guruji  : This is an illusion. It appears that the bad people are enjoying. But I tell you it is temporary. Good people need not be foolish. They can be intelligent. If someone says I put my finger in the fire because I was so good, I tell you it is foolishness. Good merits will give good result one day be sure of that.

Q: Guruji, Man is intelligent, but why animals lead a more healthy life? They do not suffer diseases and they are in harmony?Guruji : You want to go back to animals!?!?! ?(Laughter) , but you are correct. Animals don’t go to the restaurant in the middle of the night and eat fast foods. Animals sleep at the right time and gets up at the right time. They go for prey every day. They don’t store like man does. Mankind is exploiting nature so much. You know in Bangalore, we grew up with so many sparrows It is almost disappearing now. (Someone from the crowd): But Guruji, ashram has sparrows.

Guruji: yes, yes, Ashram has sparrows, peacocks, elephants, rabbits;

Someone prompts from the crowd: Guruji, monkeys also.

Guruji (laughs): Yes, yes, some in the human forms. We need to preserve the nature. We need to attend to the nature. Too much of this electro magnetic wave, high towers are destroying the harmony in nature. The air, water andland are consistently getting polluted.I was just in Iraq a few days back, you should see the kind of air pollution! It’s tremendous! It’s all a man made disaster. Human beings create fanaticism. Wisdom alone can unite people. Wisdom alone can uplift you and that’s why spirituality is so important.

Q: Guruji, I like this path of Spirituality, Sadana, Seva in the Satsang, but sometimes I get bored. Is it alright to get mischievious at times?

Guruji: Yes, yes, but not at someone’s cost . You know when you are happy, small things can make you laugh, that is when your mind is stress free. If your mind is stressed you cannot laugh even to a big joke. When I go to retreat programmes. And if I am going up and down in the lift, and in the Lift sometimes people come with me in the lift and they just simply start laughing.

Q: I am not able to do seva and I don’t know why.

Guruji: You should know better!!

Q: Guruji what is the significance of a symbol in devotion?

Guruji :Devotion is your inner feeling. What triggers is not important. Devotion is culmination of love. Someone asks me, that Guruji we go to Tirupati and stand in the que for 7-8 hours and then take a glimpse of the deity and then we go in front of the deity we close our eyes!! But I tell you one minute is also important. The prayer, the energy stay within us for several days. That is why the ancient rishis says., like the water, recycles from river to the sky and from sky to river and back to the ocean. “Sarva Deva Namaskara,Keshavam, prati gacchati”. Which means in whatever form you pray it all goes to keshava finally

Q: What is success?

Guruji: Success follows ability; ability comes when you have skill. And skill comes when you are quite. Real success is when you have smile, and no one can take that from you.

Q: What motivate someone to take decision?

Guruji: It is different in different cases, sometimes it is just a smile.

Q: Guruji, what should we focus on commitment towards family or seva.

Guruji: Commitment towards the family is the first thing .

Q: Guruji why is Jesus on the cross ?

Guruji: Jesus Christ is love. And the cross is the pain. The first experience as a child is pain. When we are inside the mother’s womb, we are happily floating in the water and then after some time, we have to come out through a small passage that is painful. So we cry. Little children then twist, turn and yawn as though they have done a big job. After sometime, they open their eyes and look at the mother and smile that is the first experience of love. Body is made up of carbohydrate, amino acids,but the spirit is made up of love. Like many other prophets, Jesus said to go my father; you have to go through me. But unfortunately some people misinterpreted. ‘Mana Ekam Saranam Gacchami’ – Krishna said. Which means I am the only way, Likewise Buddha said the same thing.

Q: How do we know that our interpretation of knowledge is right or it is a misinterpretation?

Guruji: When you see something, you introspect first.. You see the means of knowledge. That’s why in India science and spirituality never contradict each other. Spirituality believes first and experiments later. Science is experimenting first and believing later.In ancient days a child is given ‘Brahma Upadesham’, the highest knowledge is initiated to the child , right at childhood.

Q: What is a Sixth sense or it ok to follow it?

Guruji: Yes, It is ok to follow your intuition. That’s why when you do Pranama, meditation, you intuition become strong and that’s why you can take proper decisions

Q: Guruji like I appreciate, the Sun and the Moon and the Nature, why cant God appreciate when I do something good?

Guruji: He doesn’t appreciate you, because he knows you can do better. If he starts appreciating you every moment, then you desire to perform better will not be there.

Question: Knowledge betrays me in front of my teacher, can you help?

Guruji: That means you forget your lessons in front of your teacher ? (Laughter) He says you should take some Brahmi Kashayam (an ayurvedic medicine) every day to improve your memory power.

Q: Guruji, if meditation for 20 minutes is equal to 7 hours of sleep then why don’t we meditate all night?

Guruji: ‘Aati Sarvada varje’, every thing in excess is bad.

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Satsang talk by Guruji in Bangalore Ashram few years ago :

So have you all become like children ? The signs of a sadhak are contentment, bliss, patience and awareness.
  
You would see that some people are only in bliss – they are blissed out , and they cannot take right decisions. they mess up. They lack awareness. Some others are only in awareness, very alert, and therefore they get angry. They are not in bliss , but bliss and awareness are like two legs. to be balanced in life you need both. without any one of them you go through life being lame, limping.
  
What do you do with a cell phone? You talk and the battery runs down and then you put the plug of the charger to the power source, recharge and talk again, right ? Is a dead cell phone any use ? Do you hold a dead cell phone to your ears and keep on talking ? Then the person at the other end would not hear anything, right ? It is the same with our lives. people go on through with their life like dead cell phones – they are not even aware !

I tell you sadhana ( spiritual practice) is your charger in the world. It connects you to the source and the talking is the work that you do in the world.With all the talking when the charge runs out, you are drained, then you need to recharge with sadhana and of course, only then are your prayers heard – with a dead cell phone your words are not heard on the other side – your sadhana will make your prayers heard.

– His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar

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( Continuation from Part 1)

…It is very interesting to notice the relationship between breath and the three Doshas in the body. These Doshas affect certain parts of the body more than the others. For example, Vata Dosha is predominant in the lower part of the body — stomach, intestine etc. Diseases like gastric problems and joint aches are caused due to this. Kapha Dosha is predominant in the middle part of the body. Cough is mainly a result of Kapha imbalance. Pitta affects the upper part of the body i.e., the head — short temper is a sign of Pitta.

In the breathing techniques, the three-stage pranayama has effect on these three Doshas. Among different breathing techniques, there are specific breathing exercises for lower, middle and upper parts of the body. After the three-stage pranayama, you would feel that the Doshas in your body have altered. Something in the body changes; you no longer feel the same, you feel more balanced. The pranayama brings that balance in the system. Once you get in the rhythm of the pranayama, you will find the balance setting in. Making it a habit is difficult, but not the practice itself. Definite rhythms or breathing patterns correct these Doshas and bring the balance to the connected parts of the body. You can also find the three Doshas in our fingers and the nerve endings. For example, the index finger is Kapha; the middle finger is Vata, and the ring finger, Pitta. You can discern the Doshas running in the body by the shape of someone’s fingers. Practice of Mudra pranayamas, i.e., gently pressing the nerve endings in the fingertips in a subtle way and breathing with the Ujjayi breath, also balances the Doshas in the body.

How to bring good health to a system? First, attend to the ether element that is the mind element. If your mind is clogged with too many impressions and thoughts, it is draining you of your resistance power and is preparing your body for some illness. If the mind is clear, calm, meditative and pleasant, the resistance in the body increases. It would not allow an illness to come into the body. Thus, the first remedy is to calm down the mind, provided by the ether. Then come to the air element, the breathing. Aromatherapy depends on this element. And then light — the colour therapy. You can see an illness in the aura of a person before it manifests in the body. Some physicians have done research on the aura photography, especially in cases of ulcers, cancer and diabetes. They took photographs six months before these diseases could manifest in the body and found some spots. By energising our system with the prana — life energy or breath — you can clear the aura and prevent the illness before it comes. That is what yoga does. Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutras, says that the purpose of yoga is, “Stopping the sorrow before it arises.”

And then, come to the water element. Fasting with water, purifying the system with water can bring a balance in the system. And final recourse, of course, is different medicinal herbs, medicines and surgery. All these come when everything else fails or when we neglect these other steps; then it becomes inevitable.

Our breath has a lot of secrets to offer to us, because for every emotion in the mind, there is corresponding rhythm in the breath. And each rhythm affects certain part of the body physically. Observing the great correlation between these sensations, the level of body and moods of the mind is meditation.

Have you observed the sensation you experience when someone praises you? Or, when you feel happy looking at a sunset or are meeting someone very close and dear to you? You feel a sense of expansion of mind, of consciousness. Though we do feel that happiness and the sensation is happening, we fail to notice the connection. It is because our attention is on that object, not on the sensation. And when you are miserable, there is a sensation of contraction. Somewhere you feel tight and tense inside; there is a contraction of the consciousness — that’s misery, sorrow. Knowledge is, knowing that which expands. What is this something in this body which is expanding and contracting, which is feeling happy or feeling miserable, which is expressing and which is experiencing, which is evolving and which is moving through the events? This knowledge, this enquiry is the study of consciousness, of life, of prana, of Ayurveda.

Breathing is the first act of life and this is also the last act of life. In between, though we are breathing in and out forever, we do not attend to the breath. If you attend to the breath, you’ll find that in one minute we breathe nearly sixteen to seventeen times. If you are upset you may go up to twenty; if you are extremely tense and angry, maybe twenty-five breaths per minute. But if you are calm, pleasant and happy, you will breathe ten times; and if you are in deep meditation, then only two breaths or three.

If you observe an infant and its breathing pattern, you will be amazed how balanced it breathes. Infants breathe from all the three sections of the body. Their breath goes very deep, and as they breathe in, their belly comes out; as they breathe out their belly moves in. But more nervous and tense you are, you will do the reverse. You don’t have to go to a school or learn these things from anybody. If your mind is very keen and observant, then you learn a lot just observing people, children and the nature around. But our mind is preoccupied with so many things, judgements, opinions and impressions that we are unable to observe and perceive the refined things in nature

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By His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar

Life has four characteristics: it exists, evolves, expresses and extinguishes. And for these, it depends on five elements: the earth, water, air, ether and fire. These correspond to the five senses: sight, smell, taste, sound and touch.Ayurveda is the study of life — Veda means to know and Ayur is life. According to Ayurveda, life or existence is not rigid compartments — it is a harmonious flow. Even the five elements are not tight compartments of defined objects — they flow into one another. Each one of the elements contains the other four. So, the approach of Ayurveda towards life is holistic.The subtlest element in us is space, which the mind is made up of, and the grossest element is the earth, which our bones, skin and body structure are made up of. To understand the physiology, its characteristics and its reflection on the mind, the human system is divided into three Doshas or imbalances: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.When an illness arises, it manifests first in the thought form, which is the subtlest aspect, and then in the sound form. Thereafter it manifests in the light form, that is, in the aura. It is only then that the illness manifests itself in the body. To begin with, simple symptoms arise in the fluid form, which can be eradicated, and then only they manifest in the grossest form, where they need medication. In aromatherapy, an illness can be cured just through fragrance. It is mostly focussed on the preventive aspect.The holistic approach of Ayurveda includes exercising, breathing and meditation. Breath is synonymous to life. For all practical purposes, if someone is not breathing, that’s the sign that there is no life there.

It is very interesting to notice the relationship between breath and the three Doshas in the body. These Doshas affect certain parts of the body more than the others. For example, Vata Dosha is predominant in the lower part of the body — stomach, intestine etc. Diseases like gastric problems and joint aches are caused due to this. Kapha Dosha is predominant in the middle part of the body. Cough is mainly a result of Kapha imbalance. Pitta affects the upper part of the body i.e., the head — short temper is a sign of Pitta.

In the breathing techniques, the three-stage pranayama has effect on these three Doshas. Among different breathing techniques, there are specific breathing exercises for lower, middle and upper parts of the body. After the three-stage pranayama, you would feel that the Doshas in your body have altered. Something in the body changes; you no longer feel the same, you feel more balanced. The pranayama brings that balance in the system. Once you get in the rhythm of the pranayama, you will find the balance setting in. Making it a habit is difficult, but not the practice itself. Definite rhythms or breathing patterns correct these Doshas and bring the balance to the connected parts of the body. You can also find the three Doshas in our fingers and the nerve endings. For example, the index finger is Kapha; the middle finger is Vata, and the ring finger, Pitta. You can discern the Doshas running in the body by the shape of someone’s fingers. Practice of Mudra pranayamas, i.e., gently pressing the nerve endings in the fingertips in a subtle way and breathing with the Ujjayi breath, also balances the Doshas in the body.

Wait for Part 2 of this talk  ….

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The Dynamic , wonderful Anandji was here in Kansas City a year ago, I got to spend lot of time with him. He blessed me and gifted me this Guruji photo when he left KC. Only a few folks got this photo during his USA tour, i was one of the blessed ones !

 

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By Poojya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Spirituality has been sleeping at the altar and in pooja rooms, books, and places of pilgrimage for too long. Now it’s time for it to come out to the boardroom, factories, business places, parliaments, assemblies, hospitals and labour unions. The value system which has been cherished in India for centuries has been dormant, now it is time to bring it back to real life.

People who believe in values often go into a sort of moodmaking without realising the ground realities. The challenge is to integrate it into the complex structure of socioeconomic diversity that the world is today. The so-called champions of culture have done far too little to combat the challenges of modern society where societal and domestic violence are on the rise as are depression and suicidal tendencies. Spirituality is ‘Bhava Roga Nidhan’, the remedy for all worldly ills. We need to get out of the blame culture.

The value system has been living in seclusion for decades since Mahatma Gandhi’s demise. It is spirituality that brought freedom to the country and it is spirituality that has woven the diverse fabric of the country.

Make spirituality an attitude and not just a practice!

A practice is always bound by time but an attitude gets woven into that time.A practice is limited to occasions and to time and has a time-bound impact which wears off after a while and has to be revived. But an attitude gets woven into your life.

It is easy to adopt spirituality as a practice but it takes courage and (maturity/understanding) to have it or build it as an attitude. Maturity brings attitude. One contention against spirituality is that it can only be practised in a society where people are sensible and sensitive, not in a competitive and cut-throat one.

It’s a Catch 22 situation. Unless you introduce spirituality, society cannot become sensitive or sensible. Perhaps that’s why the ancient saying ‘Dharmo Rakshati Rakshata’. Dharma will protect those who protect the Dharma. If society upholds spirituality, spirituality will uphold the society.

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