Posts Tagged ‘commitment’

QA with SriSri – spirituality, astrology and cosmology

In Knowledge digest on 22/10/2008 at 00:19

Q:If modern life is like a dream, then what is real? And if you have a bad dream, how do you get rid of it?


Sri Sri:You know, first question is what you should be having. I would want you to have that question. I dont take away good questions from you. These good questions have something that helps you to go deeper within yourself, ponder more about it, huh?


Q:How does somebody get closer to the spiritual, I think that is what you really get by not letting anything stress you out. I am trying not to control everything because by trying to control everything, you are exercising violence. And comment on how to help people who are doing it on a spiritual level.


Sri Sri:Spiritual level is just recognizing there is life everywhere, there is spirit everywhere. Its not being inactive – one has to be active, one has to do whatever is needed whenever its needed, If you are to get mad, you have to get mad. I say you shouldn’t be upset at all.


Its not possible in life for everybody not to get upset at all, If you have broader vision and deep intuition inside, its ok; but to be able to manage the situation is what you need to rely upon. And I dont see a division between This is spiritual, This is material. The finest aspect of matter is spirit. The gross aspect of spirit is matter, like body and mind.


Though the eyes see, it’s not the eyes that see! They are the instruments through which the mind sees. The mind is the spirit, part of the spirit. The whole world is a combination of spirit and matter, so I dont see them as separating events. To me spiritual practices are not something that is different from you being spirited and being happy and compassionate and being in love.


Amazement is a way of prayer. When you are amused, looking at the cosmos. Wow, how many planets are there? How many stars are there? How big this universe is? See how the consciousness expands, this itself is a meditation. I guess you are all in NASA here; you all must be in meditation all the time, because you have the awareness seeing life in a bigger context, seeing the glory of the universe.


The ancient thought is that the dancer and the dance, the creation and the creator, are not separated. The creator and the creation are one and the same. The creation is formed out of the creator, like dance comes out of the dancer. So I usually say 3 Cs we must have, you should see three Cs: have cosmology, commitment, and compassion. These 3 things make life beautiful. What do you say? Correct?


Q: You talked about our minds being fields that go beyond our bodies. But in science, fields interact in different ways; they can interact constructively or destructively. Would you talk about how our minds affect each other?


Sri Sri: It does; you know, emotions are more powerful than thoughts. Thats why you see in a group of children, if one child starts crying, every other child starts crying. If one child gets mad, the other children too get that. Havent we noticed this? You know school teachers know really well, these experiences. Similarly, supposedly in a room where a few people were arguing and fighting or angry at each other, and then they leave the room; when others just enter, for no reason, they start feeling those emotions – restlessness, anger, distress. So feel harmonious and let harmony spread also, catch us all. But it appears that anger catches much faster.


Q:This is sort of a paradox in my mind. Science is very objective and systematic. In a sense, its intentionally devoid of any subjectivity or any emotion.But there can be a real joy. See when scientists come up and talk about their work.They really get excited in it and really enjoying – even in one sense its cut and dry and free of any subjectivity. So there seems to be a paradox, this great desire to do things objectively and systematically, but a great joy in doing so. It seems to be a paradox in the mind that would attract the whole concept of science.


Sri Sri: Yes. A human life is a paradox. Its a mixture of opposites. Emotions refine our attention, our awareness. There are certain emotions which can really define, that can take us very deep, and make our consciousness really sharp. Certainly other emotions, which we call negative can make us really thick and draw, insensitive. You know when someone is very quiet, their mind is very sharp, and very much able to observe better, the same mind when its disturbed, when there is sadness, is unable to listen completely.


So, different emotions have got different roles to play, in the awareness level of our system. Now, definitely science is logic and understanding; emotions are a barrier there. But for intuition and creativity, you need another set of emotions, refined emotions, which triggers those aspects in it. So I dont see they are contrary to each other; though they are complementary, they are opposite in nature. Yet they are complementary to each other.


I would also like to say about the Indian astrology, one of the astronomies, one of the most very highly developed, but most ignored subject, the Vedic astrology. It was so many years ago, they discovered that Jupiter has twelve moons, thousands of years ago without any telescope or without any instrument.So there was perhaps some intuitive level of understanding – such exact calculations of how much it takes for Saturn to circle the Sun, all those things. Its amazing. One thing is that we need more research in it. One more aspect is to say perhaps, there is always an amount of saying, this is so. Not saying this is like this is for all times.

qualities of good leadership

In Knowledge digest on 04/04/2008 at 10:51

Qualities of Good Leadership – Do you have it in you?

The first major aspect of good leadership is letting go of control. Are you in control when you’re sleeping or when you’re dreaming? No! Are you in control of any other function in your body? Your heart is pumping all by itself. Your liver functions by itself. The food you stuff in the stomach gets digested all by itself. Do you have any control over them? Are you in control of the Sun and Moon moving around the globe or even the globe rotating on itself? Are you in control of the thoughts that come into your head? So, when you realize you really do not have any control over all major things that are happening in you life, you’ll stand up and laugh. “Oh, what am I thinking, am I in control of something?” Then you will realize that the idea that you are in control is an illusion. And then you relax. And that relaxed state is called surrender.

What is surrender? A state of mind, where you are absolutely at home, totally relaxed — with no fear, anxiety, burden or problem. That state is called surrender. Surrender is our very nature; you don’t have to do it. When you are in your natural state of childlike innocence, you are already in a state of surrender. When you cannot surrender, then you make effort, and effort makes you surrender. So when you say, “I cannot relax”, I will say, “Ok, hold your fists tight and tight and tight.” Then, when I ask you to make it tighter and you cannot do that, what do you do? Being tired, you just drop. This is coming to the other end with effort! For a leader, it is also important to be in the present moment.

So, what are the qualities of good leadership? How can you be a dynamic, confident and enthusiastic leader? The first quality of leadership is to set an example. A leader doesn’t just order things; he does it so that others can do it. Second aspect is that a leader takes good care of those whom he is leading. Third aspect is that he doesn’t create followers. A good leader creates leaders. And then chain action happens. A leader should delegate responsibility.

The fourth quality is that a leader does not depend on authority. He just does a thing, whether authority is invested or not. It comes by itself. The fifth aspect of leadership is that he does not worry about position. The respect that you gain through virtue is very different from the respect you gain through the position. The respect you get through a position is short-lived and temporary. But the respect that you gain just because of your smile, your attitude, your virtues are there with you all the time. You may be a chairman of this committee, a president of that committee, or you are barrister here or governor of that state — these are all momentary, temporary. They come and they go. And the respect you get because of this position is not genuine, it is not from the heart, it is not true. But the respect you gain because you are a nice person, is genuine, it lasts long. It is spontaneous.

The sixth quality is that a leader is alert and when challenges come, he is not disturbed. A good leader is one who does not drop things when challenges appear. The seventh quality of a good leader is one who does not care for comfort, but who stretches himself beyond the comfort zone. Anything creative, dynamic and great can happen only when you stretch beyond your comfort zone where we are often struck. We think we cannot do something: just make an effort and put one step ahead, and you will find that that you are expanding your comfort zone. Creativity transcends your comfort zone. Or, when you step out of the comfort zone, your creativity comes into play.

The eighth aspect is, a leader should not mix head and heart. If you mix head and heart, you are in a mess! When you have to work, you work with commitment and you live with your head. In life, in situations other than when you are working, listen to your heart.

The ninth quality of a good leader is that he should be multidimensional and see from the other’s point of view. Put yourself in other person’s shoes, look from the other person’s point of view. The tenth aspect is that the leader doesn’t depend on one-sided information. When you get some news from one side, don’t take any decision or conclusion till you hear from the other side also. Leader should be a good communicator.

The eleventh is that a leader should have a direct approach. Twelfth quality of a good leader is not to judge oneself. You have this tendency of judging yourself, “Am I good? I’m no good.” The self-judgment is an obstruction. Stop doing that. Don’t judge yourself. When you judge yourself, you are judging others also. Then you oscillate like a pendulum. If you feel you’re good, then you are saying that others are not so good. So when you find that others are good, and then you feel that you are no good, you blame yourself. Judgment is very similar to self-blame and blaming others. We have to get out of this vicious circle of self-judgment. That is also the state of surrender. When you have surrendered to the Divine that means that you no longer judge yourself. Self-judgment is not necessary. A child is so innocent, why? Because the child doesn’t judge itself.

Intention, Attention, Manifestation

In Knowledge digest on 10/03/2008 at 01:43

Intention, Attention, Manifestation

– Talk by SriSri on Aug 24th 2007, Bangalore Ashram


Our life runs through intention. Everything we do has either a desire or intention or unconscious habit attached to it. Whether you want to drink a glass of water, take a walk or sit and watch TV, first an intention arises in the mind. If you want to call it desire, as ‘a desire arises in the mind’, I have no objection. But there is a difference between intention and desire. People don’t understand this. Even if you say ‘I don’t want any desire”, it is a desire. “I want to be enlightened” is a desire. Better job, more wealth, live happily… die peacefully is also a desire!

Why some people desire gets fulfilled, others don’t? This is a question in many people. How many of you have this problem? <Some people lift their hands>. It is very few in Art Of Living!! Somehow by hook or crook, or fluke, you got the skill to attend to your desire. Desire is a feverishness attached to a wish or a thought. The feverishness kills. If you have noticed people who are getting all this Emmy awards, Filmfare awards – prestigious awards in the world, they can’t contain their happiness. They get sick. They get panic attacks!!

Desire when fulfilled still leaves you empty. If not fulfilled, they make you miserable. This whole hippy movement happened because all desire were getting fulfilled. It all seemed futile, nothing to hold on to. Because desire doesn’t seem to be bringing fulfillment.

Unfulfilled desire gives a void. Fulfilled desire gives a greater void. It creates such feverishness, you can’t have a good night’s sleep. If desire is the mother of sorrow, then shouldn’t we desire? I am saying “I don’t want any desire”. If that is also a desire, what to do?!!

Here comes the knowledge, the secret knowledge of desire and intention. For example, you want to go to Mysore – a 3 hour journey. You sit in a car, drive, on the way stop, drink tea, coffee, whatever, and you reach in 3 hours. This is an intention. An intention is a thought that arises in you, remains with you and translates into an action – whether today, tomorrow, next year.

And desire is sitting in the car and being feverish, repeating “I want to go to Mysore, I want to go to Mysore”. You will not go to Mysore, you will go to mental hospital.

Most of the people in the world do not know the difference between intention and desire. Ancient people knew the secret. They called it sankalpa. Take an intention and leave it to the universe. Today if you go to temples, even in the west, or where there is a fountain, they say ‘make a wish and drop it’ – drop the coin.

An intention has to be dropped. Have an intention, have an attention and consciously drop it. It will start manifesting. If you hold on to the intention, intention becomes desire and desire causes heartache.

See your life in the bigger context. With intention in your hand, what do you do? See how many billion years have passed, how vast this universe is. With this vastness, the mind expands. This is what is sankalpa – so many billion years have passed, among all the billions of stars, among all the milky ways, in this small planet, in this small country, state, I take this intention; and drop it!!

When you do this, a phenomenon is happening within you. Mind, consciousness expands and this expanded consciousness recognizes what you need to be happy. Attention on the magnanimity of the creation <did He mean magnitude here?> and intending what you want to manifest is an art in itself. Instead, what we do? We put our attention on what we don’t have!!

My grandmother would say “Chocolates are full. I have to go to to chocolate shop!”. She will never say ‘it is empty’. She would say ‘chocolate is full’. Even in language, she wouldn’t use the negative word – don’t have. She would say angels are floating around and all they say is ‘let it be’. You say ‘I don’t have money’, they say ‘let it be’!! It was like that for her, you know – always smiling, cheerful, positive state of mind.

Intention, attention and manifestation. They are linked. The go together. But if our attention is always about something negative… Your attention goes to fights, to problem. If someone is doing good work, your attention doesn’t go there. Create a scandal and see your interest! Unless you know all about that, you don’t feel comfortable. If your mind is clinging on to negative, that’s what is going to grow. If you tell your child, ‘you are stupid’, he will remain stupid. Because your attention is on foolish, stupid.

People don’t understand this. They sit and visualize – I am becoming rich, rich! Instead of attention, intention they turn the intention into a feverish desire and become depressed. In positive thinking, you suppress, suppress and somewhere it all becomes negative.

This is a skill. You know, there is a certain group that tells people to wake up in the morning and sit and tell “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself”. And they get sick!! See, you know you are in Bangalore. You don’t have to repeat you are in Bangalore. You keep affirming, you keep saying “I am strong”, somewhere you think you are weak, so you have to keep affirming.

Intention is not fighting with a stream of thought that is coming in the mind. Intention is beyond fleeting positive and negative thoughts. In your mind, you get so many thoughts, but not everything translates into action. Why? Only those thoughts that translates into intention becomes action.

Let us see the distinction between desire and intention.

Intention has a purpose
Desire has feverishness.

Intention has a goal.
Desire’s goals are really not good because desire is always linked to happiness and no event or object can bring you to the happiness you really want.

If your attention is all the time on the negative, switch it to positive. Just being aware of it, it already switches. Then give the time for it to manifest.

Some of you have this habit. Saying Always. “I always have pain”. That is what is going to happen. In Bible also there is a saying, “Those who have more shall be given to them, those who do not have what they have will also be taken away”. The feeling of abundance, feeling you have abundance and abundance will grow. You put your attention on lack and lack will grow.

A gentleman got 1 million dollar in a lottery. He became so sad. Previous day, he had seen a house that cost 1.2 million! “Just 0,2 million and I would have got my house!”. Even though he won a lottery, he became depressed. Desire is never with what we have here and now. It always gallops – leaves your legs tired and hands empty. And meditation is the skill in which you learn how to drop the intention and relax, let go!

You know there is a saying – ask, and it shall be given. We never even attended to it. Your attention is not there. You never put your intention on it and you say it didn’t manifest. Many people who say “I am poor” do not put their intention and attention on it. It’s not enough to say “I want money”. You have to be specific – who do you want to be wealthy? In the temples, they say “this child born on this day, this grand child born on that day”… after or before meditation, you put your intention. I want this much money, this to happen, this to be solved – and drop it.

Many times you do not really enjoy what you wanted. Kids, it happens. They want something, get it and they don’t want it! Clarity comes only through depth of meditation and meditation cannot happen when mind is feverish with desire.

Bringing desire to intention, putting attention and allowing time to manifest is a really intelligent way to deal with desire. When you are sick, you put an attention on it “I am sick, I am sick”… I am not saying, you put an affirmation – “I am healthy, I am healthy”.

In Bali, Indonesia, they greet “Swasthirasthu”. Swa means self. Swasthi means ‘established in the self’. Swasthirasthu means “may you be established in the self”. Swaastha means not just physical health. Physical, mental and spiritual health is ’swaasthya’. In India, nobody greets that way. But in Bali, they greet that way. ‘Om swasthirasthu’ – of course in festivals, pundits chant that. But others don’t understand!!

Question: If you drop an intention, how can it convert into action?

Sri Sri : Just like you want to go to Delhi, and drop it, it automatically converts into an action. If you hold on to it, what will happen to you?? <<Everyone says Mental Hospital!!>>

Intention should go with a feeling. It is not reading, “Oh, what is the intention I should have today?”. Intention is a need that comes within you. There is a deep yearning for it. Then it becomes an intention. Like someone wants a car or transportation, they really need a car, then you just put an intention, sankalpa – I really need this.

One is fantasy – it is not a real need, your heart, your soul is not longing for it. Like someone else has a car, I also want a car. Someone has a bigger house. I also want. This is not a need. It is not going to happen. If you say “I’m so tired of moving houses, and more people are coming and I need a bigger hall”, then it is an intention. And then you add the clause “Anything better than this is ok”. “This or anything better than this, I can accept”.

But if you have not kept your commitment, you are not sincere, you are cheating, nature will know that. It will also cheat you! Nature will also not give you the power to manifest what you intend!

In Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says there are five yamas one has follow before asana.

Ahimsa – Non-violence. What do you get by being non-violent? In your presence, everyone else will lose their violence. One who is established in non-violence, in their presence others will also lose violent tendencies within.

One of our teachers in Botswana, a young woman – she was kidnapped by 5-6 gunmen. How many of you know this? You should hear from her own words. They took her in the car. She was laughing and she said “If you do any harm to me, your family will not be happy!”. She said, “see, I have a Guru!”. They said, ‘what is a guru’ and then she gave them an intro talk!! She spoke to them half an hour and they left her. Then they gave her the passport back. You listen to her own story. It is very funny! And the terrorist said sorry to her! They tried to push her, she said “It’s paining, don’t do that”. They said “Oh sorry madam!”.

We don’t know the power of yoga, meditation. How 6 terrorists in Botswana, it has never happened in history, they have left just like that and given the passport back!

Another teacher from India, went to Moscow. Four men came and started speaking in Hindi and then told him “You have five hours. Lets go have some tea”. He went with them innocently and they took him and locked him. He broke the door. They have guns and this gentleman without any weapons could face and get away from them, unhurt! They also gave him money to get to the airport!

Couple of other stories are there, in Calcutta, they kidnapped and brought him back.

If you have the conviction, if you are established in non-violence, in your presence, surroundings, violence drops. Violence turns into non-violence. This I have seen again and again. Why should you follow truth? Because that will fructify your actions. That much enough for today.

Question: Sarvasreshtha gnaan kya hai?

Sri Sri : Jo haath mein hai, who kya hai? Jo nahin hai, usko sarvasreshta maanke… dhoondthe reh jaaoge.

Haan se huddath, nahin ki talaash
Isi liye poori duniya hai udaas.

< Roughly translated it means, Indifferent to what you have, searching for what you don’t have This is why the whole world is miserable>

Question: About Varlakshmi Vratham and what it symbolises

Sri Sri : They take a pot, put rice, crown it with a coconut, invoke the Divine and feel the abundance. Not just for me, for everybody. They say, give me enough, so whoever comes to my house will not be hungry. Grant me the wish for abundance. Wanting abundance for whose sake/ Not for oneself, so that I can help everybody! They feel Lakshmi has already come home. Lakshmi is invited to every home and stays at every home. There is enough for everyone in this planet. Don’t be greedy, don’t be selfish. There is abundance in every life.

Sit quiet for a few minutes and feel the abundance. Close your eyes and feel you have abundance of everything – good qualities, money, health everything.