By His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar For The Bali Times
It is inevitable that sometimes one feels negative and down. Nobody wants it, but it happens. Life is 80 percent joy and 20 percent misery. But we hold on to the 20 percent and make it 200 percent! It is not a conscious act; it just happens.
There are two ways of looking at life. One is thinking that, “I will be happy after achieving a certain objective.” The second is saying that “I am happy come what may!”
What is there for you to get depressed? You are here for a few years on this planet. And as long as you are here, you can as well be happy. What are you waiting for to be contented? Which five-year plan is it of yours to be happy? It’s like preparing your bed for all night and when you are ready to sleep, it’s already dawn. Instead of preparing to be happy all the time, make your conscience happy now and remain naturally happy like children.
Smile at Yourself
This life has so much to offer you. You can see this once you take sometime off and rejuvenate the soul. Take some time off to look a little deep into oneself and calm the mind. Your soul is hungry for a smile from you. If you could give this, you will feel energized and nothing will take the smile away from you.
Many events come and go in life; many situations arise. Are you able to maintain your equanimity in those conditions? Not everything in the world is sweet. You cannot force enthusiasm and confidence to come back to you. You read many books, stand on your head, wear nice clothes … but nothing will work. When you feel useless, use that time to be prayerful and you will see no sooner, you will gain the confidence and enthusiasm beyond all your imagination. When you don’t have enthusiasm, you will share only your grievances. If you are filled with grievances, you will talk about only that. That doesn’t mean that you are miserable. Whether it is extreme joy, happiness or misery, there is a part in every human being that remains untouched by that. Similarly, you can’t go on mourning all your life. Sorrow comes and goes.
Cross Your Own Boundaries
Every time you are unhappy or miserable, you are just coming in touch with your own boundaries. It is limitation and boundary that is the real cause of your disturbance. You are peaceful and happy until come in contact with your boundaries. The moment you come in contact with it, then the mind goes on a trip and you move out of your centre. At that moment what can you do? You can just be grateful and pray for peace. That very moment, you will start smiling and however hopeless the situation is, you will walk through it.
The creation wants you to be happy. God wants to see you full of enthusiasm, joy, compassion and being happy. But what you do? You keep a long face, worry about this or that. What’s the fun? Life is not meant for this. God is trying his level best; He has created so many things for you to be happy. God only helps those who help themselves. So everyday make a resolution. “Today, I am just going to be happy come what may. I will not let anything disturb my happiness. I am going to be contended, happy.”
You Are More than Time
A wise one is happy even in bad times. And the foolish one is unhappy even in good times. You make the time good or bad. Even if an astrologer says that you have a hopeless time, you can make it a good time! So realize that you are more than time and that you can move the time by your connection with the Divine.
God has given you all the small pleasures of the world, but has kept the bliss to himself. To get the highest bliss, you have to go to him and him alone. Don’t be too smart with the Divine and try to fool him. Most of your prayers and rituals are just attempts to trick the Divine. You try to give the least and get the maximum out of the Divine. But God is an astute businessman; He will trick you even more.
Be sincere in your attempts. Do not try to outsmart the Divine. Once you get the bliss, then everything else is joyful. Without the bliss, the joy of the world will not stay. What type of time do you give the Divine? Usually you give the time that is leftover; when you have nothing else to do, no guests to attend to, no parties to attend to, you go to the Divine. This is not quality time. Give quality time to the Divine; it will be rewarded. If your prayers are not answered, it is because you have never given quality time. Give primetime to the Divine. You definitely will be rewarded.
When you know you are part of the Divine plan, you stop demanding. You know everything is being done for you and you are taken care of. Usually you do it the other way around: you hurry the mind and are slow in your action. Impatience means hurrying the mind; lethargy means slowness in action. Patience in the mind and dynamism in action is the right formula.
Don’t judge and don’t worry about what others think of you. Whatever they think, it is not permanent. Your own opinion about things and people keeps changing all the time. So why worry about what others think about you. Worrying takes a lot of toll on the body, mind, intellect and alertness. It is like an obstruction that takes us far away from ourselves. It brings us fear.
Move in Knowledge
Make knowledge your companion and have faith in the Infinite. If you are grounded in faith, then you will progress and maintain your equanimity in this world. God expects only one thing from you – your unshakeable faith. If your faith shakes quickly when difficulty strikes, you will not be able to face it with your smile intake. When you have faith that every thing will be alright, when you are in peace, everything will settle down.
Having faith means that you realize that God’s protection is always there for you. This much faith is enough to pull you up.