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Jiddu Krishnamurti on Purpose of Living

Question: We live but we do not know why. To so many of us, life seems to have no meaning. Can you tell us the meaning and purpose of our living?


Jiddu Krishnamurti: Now why do you ask this question? Why are you asking me to tell you the meaning of life, the purpose of life? What do we mean by life? Does life have a meaning, a purpose? Is not living in itself its own purpose, its own meaning? Why do we want more? Because we are so dissatisfied with our life, our life is so empty, so tawdry, so monotonous, doing the same thing over and over again, we want something more, something beyond that which we are doing.

Since our everyday life is so empty, so dull, so meaningless, so boring, so intolerably stupid, we say life must have a fuller meaning and that is why you ask this question. Surely a man who is living richly, a man who sees things as they are and is content with what he has, is not confused; he is clear, therefore he does not ask what is the purpose of life. For him the very living is the beginning and the end. Our difficulty is that, since our life is empty, we want to find a purpose to life and strive for it.

Such a purpose of life can only be mere intellection, without any reality; when the purpose of life is pursued by a stupid, dull mind, by an empty heart, that purpose will also be empty. Therefore our purpose is how to make our life rich, not with money and all the rest of it but inwardly rich – which is not something cryptic.

When you say that the purpose of life is to be happy, the purpose of life is to find God, surely that desire to find God is an escape from life and your God is merely a thing that is known. You can only make your way towards an object which you know; if you build a staircase to the thing that you call God, surely that is not God. Reality can be understood only in living, not in escape.

When you seek a purpose of life, you are really escaping and not understanding what life is. Life is relationship, life is action in relationship; when I do not understand relationship, or when relationship is confused, then I seek a fuller meaning. Why are our lives so empty? Why are we so lonely, frustrated? Because we have never looked into ourselves and understood ourselves. We never admit to ourselves that this life is all we know and that it should therefore be understood fully and completely.

We prefer to run away from ourselves and that is why we seek the purpose of life away from relationship
. If we begin to understand action, which is our relationship with people, with property, with beliefs and ideas, then we will find that relationship itself brings its own reward. You do not have to seek. It is like seeking love. Can you find love by seeking it? Love cannot be cultivated. You will find love only in relationship, not outside relationship, and it is because we have no love that we want a purpose of life. When there is love, which is its own eternity, then there is no search for God, because love is God.

It is because our minds are full of technicalities and superstitious mutterings that our lives are so empty and that is why we seek a purpose beyond ourselves. To find life’s purpose we must go through the door of ourselves; consciously or unconsciously we avoid facing things as they are in themselves and so we want God to open for us a door which is beyond. This question about the purpose of life is put only by those who do not love. Love can be found only in action, which is relationship.

Source: from book “The First and Last Freedom” by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Related Article:
Jiddu Krishnamurti on purpose of Existence

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January 16, 2010(Below is the transcript of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.You can watch the Live webcast of future satsangs)

Q: Guruji, the way I feel so connected to you, do you feel the same?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: More than that. You know, connection means that there is a difference. I don’t feel connected for I don’t feel the difference. I feel you are a part of me.

Q: If truth is contradictory, how to find the truth?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Truth is something you can’t avoid nor confront. There is no effort. Truth simply comes out. If you tell a lie, you have to manufacture. To tell a lie, a lot of effort is required. You’re feeling cold, you’re feeling hot, that is how you feel. No effort is needed.

Q: Even after surrendering problems, I worry about them. What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This is to say, ‘I gave it away’ and even after giving you say, ‘I have it with me’. If even after giving it away again and again, it comes back to you like a ball you again and again keep giving it away. Don’t give up until you have totally given up!

Q: What are the characteristics of an ideal devotee?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (After a little pause) You are One. You don’t doubt that. And whatever additional quality you want to have, you can always develop.
• Someone who has a calm and serene mind,
• Wants to live in knowledge, has some knowledge and a desire for knowledge,
• No grudges, no hatred towards anyone,
• Has compassion.

Q: What do you expect from us?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A lot. You live in knowledge, you keep smiling, you keep serving, you keep connected. I don’t expect – I know you will do it. Only I am impatient. I want you to do it quickly.

Q: Guruji, telling the truth causes problems outside and telling lie creates problems inside (us)? What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Solve the problem. Problems are to be seen as challenges. Someone who is brave like challenges and you are brave, I tell you.

Q: Guruji, when we say Jai Gurudev to someone, are we referring to the Guru in the person in front or we are remembering the Guru in ourselves?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I leave it up to you, whatever you want. It has so many meanings – Hello, How are you, Good bye, Welcome, Thank you…So many words come in that Jai Gurudev. You want to say, ‘Oh my God’ you say Jai Gurudev, you want to say, ‘Oh I give up’ you say Jai Gurudev. It’s just become a habit. I don’t insist at all. You say whatever you want to say.

Q: Do I exist beyond body and soul? And if I do then in what form?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Nothing exists beyond the soul. Beyond the body? Yes. When you realize, you see you are not your body and you will realize that yourself.


Q: Guruji, there are moments when I am enthusiastic, when I am very confident but there are two problems: 1. I forget things. 2. I fear of what happens if this state continues. This is predominantly from my wife’s side. What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I remember in one course a gentleman with his wife participated. At each knowledge point, the husband would say, ‘Look, I have been also saying the same thing.’ Like I said, ‘Forgive and forget’ and she would say, ‘I told you the same thing, now Guruji is also saying same.’ (Laughter) Itold him, these points are for you to apply and not to just pass on. Charity begins at home, Love begins at home. Start from where you are.

Q: I get physically attracted to many people. What to do? Is it ok to be physically attracted?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: If you see your mind, so many thoughts come. You can’t act on all the thoughts. If you try to act on all the thoughts, you end up in a mental hospital. Whether thoughts of attraction or repulsion come, you do not get attracted but you also feel repulsion for many people. For example, the mind says to strangle somebody, you have to act out of wisdom. You have to see what is right and what is wrong. You have to see what is evolutionary and what is not. You have to see what is giving you happiness in the long term and what is giving misery. You have to see what is permanent and what is temporary. That is discrimination, Viveka, is so important. Otherwise, it will be just senseless, thoughtless action leaving you in misery.

Q: We give so many botherations to you? To whom do you give all these botherations?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That you don’t worry. I have a processing unit where all garbage gets processed to manure.

Reader: I am laughing a good joke.

Q: If atma (spirit) is neither created nor destroyed then from where do these new souls come? How is the population of the world increasing?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: My dear, so many animals are also getting extinct. Very few sparrows are left, many crocodiles are missing. Like this, many other species are missing. Just imagine. I think you will get the rest of your answer.

Q: Guruji, I do all practices when I am in problem but otherwise I stay away from path. What should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: This you figure out. When misery comes, everyone thinks of God. But to one who thinks of God even when happy, why will misery touch him? There is an old proverb which says this Sukh mein simran sabh karein, dukh mein kare na koi,Sukh mein simran jo kare to dukh kahe ko hoyeThis applies to us also. When you are doing pranayama, Sudarshan kriya, when you are happy, then that happiness will continue.Today, there was an article in the paper which says that the only way to cure depression is by meditation. Anti-depression medicines will make the depression come back. There is a rebounding of depression with anti-depression medicines but with meditation there is no rebounding. Today millions of people are suffering from depression and they don’t know something like this exists. They don’t know there is a way which can make them free from depression. When you go back tell everyone about meditation. It takes one out of depression, suicidal tendencies. Look at Rashid (pointing to a youth who has come from Kashmir), he is smiling after 12 years and is now doing wonderful service also.

Q: When I come here I find so much peace and harmony. How can I take this same peace and harmony back to Kashmir also?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You also come up with ideas, I will also think. More youth like you should come from Kashmir, experience this and go back and serve. We will start the Art of Living in Kashmir and make it big. If you all resolve, we will definitely do it. We can do organic farming there. We can train more teachers, all can heal and bless them, bring happiness in them. We already have a residential school there. We all need to do more and more.


Q: If something bad happens to a person we say that the previous birth karma is responsible. Will you please speak about that?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: ‘Paap kya punya kyat tu bhulade’Karam kar phal ki chinta tu mitade’Forget what is sinful and what is noble. Be free from the desire of the fruit of action. Don’t sit and worry too much about all this.I have spoken more on this in Celebrating silence (a book written by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ravi Shankar).


Q: It is said in the Gita, do your duty and don’t expect for the result. How to live this knowledge in normal life?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Live naturally. All Art of Living points are from life’s experience. There is no effort in it. Do some meditation, yoga you will see how life has transformed effortlessly and automatically.

Q: Guruji, is it true you have some super power. You have stopped rain so many times just looking at sky, you can read thoughts.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know love is the most super power in this world and that power is with everybody, not only with me. When mind is free from lust, greed, possessiveness, arrogance etc., when the mind is in the pure form with which we were all born with, then nature listens to you. You are a child of nature and nature loves you. When that manifests, when you are clear then two things happen – your wishes get fulfilled and you can fulfill others’ wishes also. When you are content, that is when blessing happens, Don’t think only Guruji can do it. This is no achievement and no effort is required. That is natural from our state of being, that state of innocence. Most of us have lost it but I still haven’t lost it.

Q: How do you speak so sweetly always?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: It’s like asking jaggery, how can you taste so sweet? It’s the nature of the jaggery to be sweet. I don’t put any effort to speak sweetly. If I put in effort, it will turn to be salty. What I am, I speak the same. That’s why you find it sweet. And secondly, you are also sweet so you find me also sweet. If your mind is turbulent then even if I speak sweetly, you will find it salty. I also don’t know how to be otherwise. I am grateful that I never got an opportunity also to do something which is not in my nature. There was never a need to speak a lie or cheat someone. It has never happened that I pretend to be someone else which I am not. It doesn’t seem also I would be doing it in future. (laughter) But I don’t give any guarantee (more laughter). It hasn’t happened till now and God knows about future.

Q: Guruji I worked in a slum and I got so much happiness. I am feeling so blissful and life is so beautiful.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Life is beautiful but we don’t crave for happiness: ‘Oh, life is beautiful. I want joy.’ When you are happy – serve.When you are sad – give up, have the courage to give up your misery. Adveshta serva bhutanam maitra karuna evacah|Nirmamo Nirahankarah samah sukah dukkah kshami||Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that one who is dear to me, who doesn’t hate anybody, who doesn’t have any ego – I, I, me. One who is calm in success or failure. Whatever he gets – sorrow or happiness – he takes it all with a smile. The Gita also talks about the three gunas – Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. What type of food you should eat, how the cosmos affects. Ayurveda, yoga, psychology, all these subjects are there. People from Tamil Nadu had come for the satsang.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar welcomed them and introduced the Pongal festival which was celebrated on January 14. Pongal is the biggest festival in Tamil Nadu. The flavor of Pongal is a little bit salty, little sweet and is prepared with rice, dal (pulses), and turmeric in a clay pot and celebrated.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: The Intelligent celebrate everyday Fools fight everyday

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How to do Charity ?


Doing good to others

“You people speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realize God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power, then you can do good to others; otherwise not.

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “Then, sir, we must give up our activities until we realize God?”

MASTER: “No. Why should you? You must engage in such activities as contemplation, singing His praises, and other daily devotions.”

BRAHMO: “But what about our worldly duties-duties associated with our earning money, and so on?”

MASTER: “Yes, you can perform them too, but only as much as you need for your livelihood. At the same time, you must pray to God in solitude, with tears in your eyes, that you may be able to perform those duties in an unselfish manner. You should say to Him: ‘O God, make my worldly duties fewer and fewer; otherwise, O Lord, I find that I forget Thee when I am involved in too many activities. I may think I am doing unselfish work, but it turns out to be selfish.’ People who carry to excess the giving of alms, or the distributing of food among the poor, fall victims to the desire of acquiring name and fame.

“Sambhu Mallick once talked about establishing hospitals, dispensaries, and schools, making roads, digging public reservoirs, and so forth. I said to him: ‘Don’t go out of your way to look for such works. Undertake only those works that present themselves to you and are of pressing necessity-and those also in a spirit of detachment.’ It is not good to become involved in many activities. That makes one forget God. Coming to the Kalighat temple, some, perhaps, spend their whole time in giving alms to the poor. They have no time to see the Mother in the inner shrine! (Laughter.) First of all manage somehow to see the image of the Divine Mother, oven by pushing through the crowd. Then you may or may not give alms, as you wish. You may give to the poor to your heart’s content, if you feel that way. Work is only a means to the realization of God. Therefore I said to Sambhu, ‘Suppose God appears before you; then will you ask Him to build hospitals and dispensaries for you?’ (Laughter.) A lover of God never says that. He will rather say: ‘O Lord, give me a place at Thy Lotus Feet. Keep me always in Thy company. Give me sincere and pure love for Thee.’
Path of devotion most elective for Kaliyuga

“Karmayoga is very hard indeed. In the Kaliyuga it is extremely difficult to perform the rites enjoined in the scriptures. Nowadays man’s life is centred on food alone. He cannot perform many scriptural rites. Suppose a man is laid up with fever. If you attempt a slow cure with the old-fashioned indigenous remedies, before long his life may be snuffed out. He can’t stand much delay. Nowadays the drastic ‘D Gupta’ mixture is appropriate. In the Kaliyuga the best way is bhaktiyoga, the path of devotion-singing the praises of the Lord, and prayer. The path of devotion alone is the religion for this age. (To the Brahmo devotees) Yours also is the path of devotion. Blessed you are indeed that you chant the name of Hari and sing the Divine Mother’s glories. I like your attitude. You don’t call the world a dream like the non-dualists. You are not Brahmajnanis like them; you are bhaktas, lovers of God. That you speak of Him as a Person is also good. You are devotees. You will certainly realize Him if you call on Him with sincerity and earnestness.”

The boat cast anchor at Kayalaghat and the passengers prepared to disembark. On coming outside they noticed that the full moon was up. The trees, the buildings, and the boats on the Ganges were bathed in its mellow light. A carriage was hailed for the Master, and M. and a few devotees got in with him. The Master asked for Keshab. Presently the latter arrived and inquired about the arrangements made for the Master’s return to Dakshineswar. Then he bowed low and took leave of Sri Ramakrishna.

The carriage drove through the European quarter of the city. The Master enjoyed the sight of the beautiful mansions on both sides of the well lighted streets. Suddenly he said: “I am thirsty. What’s to be done?” Nandalal, Keshab’s nephew, stopped the carriage before the India Club and went upstairs to get some water. The Master inquired whether the glass had been well washed. On being assured that it had been, he drank the water. As the carriage went along, the Master put his head out of the window and looked with childlike enjoyment, at the people, the vehicles, the horses, and the streets, all flooded with moonlight. Now and then he heard European ladies singing at the piano. He was in a very happy mood.

The carriage arrived at the house of Suresh Mitra, who was a great devotee of the Master and whom he addressed affectionately as Surendra. He was not at home.

The members of the household opened a room on the ground floor for the Master and his party. The cab fare was to be paid. Surendra would have taken care of it had he been there. The Master said to a devotee: “Why don’t you ask the ladies to pay the fare? They certainly know that their master visits us at Dakshineswar. I am not a stranger to them.”(All laugh.)

Narendra, who lived in that quarter of the city, was sent for. In the mean time Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees were invited to the drawing-room upstairs. The floor of the room was covered with a carpet and a white sheet. A few cushions were lying about. On the wall hung an oil painting especially painted for Surendra, in which Sri Ramakrishna was pointing out to Keshab the harmony of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions. On seeing the picture Keshab had once said, “Blessed is the man who conceived the idea.”

Sri Ramakrishna was talking joyously with the devotees, when Narendra arrived. This made the Master doubly happy. He said to his young disciple, “We had a boat trip with Keshab today. Vijay and many other Brahmo devotees were there. (Pointing to M.) Ask him what I said to Keshab and Vijay about the mother and daughter observing their religious fast on Tuesdays, each on her own account, though the welfare of the one meant the welfare of the other. I also said to Keshab that trouble-makers like jatila and Kutila were necessary to lend zest to the play. (To M.) Isn’t that so?”

M: “Yes, sir. Quite so.”

It was late. Surendra had not yet returned. The Master had to leave for the temple garden, and a cab was brought for him. M. and Narendra saluted him and took their leave. Sri Ramakrishna’s carriage started for Dakshineswar through the moonlit streets.


http://www.belurmath.org/gospel/chapter05.htm

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How not to be bored ?

Question – Beloved Osho, don’t you get bored, bored and fed up, day after day answering the same questions, while we sit there with ears blocked, eyes tight, mouth sealed, never ever getting the message — that there are no answers? You continually astound me in your dewdrop freshness in the early morning light, and still i am blind, deaf and lame, cut off from sharing in your radiance except for brief moments.

Osho – The first thing: I am not, so I cannot be bored and fed up. First you have to be to be bored. The more you are the more you will feel bored. The less you are the less bored. That’s why children are less bored than old people. Have you not observed it? Children are almost not bored. They go on playing with the same toys, they go on running after the same butterflies, they go on collecting the same seashells. They are not bored.

Have you ever told a story to a child? After listening to it he says, “Tell it again… and again.” And whenever you will meet him again he will say, “Tell me that story. I loved it.” Why is a child not bored? — because he is not. Or he is in a very rudimentary way; the ego has not evolved yet. The ego is the factor that creates boredom.

Animals are not bored, trees are not bored, and what novelty is there in the life of animals and trees? The rosebush goes on producing the same roses year in, year out, and the bird goes on singing the same song every morning and every evening. The cuckoo knows not many notes, just a single note. It goes on repeating it; it is monotonous. But not a single animal is bored, not a single tree is bored. Nature knows nothing of boredom. Why? — because nature has no ego yet.

A Buddha is not bored, a Jesus is not bored, because they have dropped the ego again. Nature has not evolved it yet, Buddha has dropped it. Buddha and nature are almost the same. I say almost because there is only one difference — of great significance, but only one difference. The difference is that of awareness. Nature is without ego but unaware, Buddha is without ego but aware.

Once you know you are not there, who is going to be bored? who is going to be fed up? That’s why I can come every morning and go on answering your questions. I am not bored. I cannot be bored. For almost twenty-five years I have not tasted boredom. I have started forgetting the very taste of it, how it feels.

The second thing: the questions are not the same. They cannot be — they come from different people, how can they be the same questions? Yes, sometimes the words may be the same, but the questions are not the same. Two persons are so different from each other — how can they ask the same question? Even if the words are the same, even if the construction of the question is the same, yet I would like you to be reminded — they can’t be the same.

Now this question is asked by Anand Shaila; nobody else can ask it. Nobody else upon this big earth can ask it. To ask this question a Shaila will be needed. And Shaila is only one; there are not many Shailas. So remember, each individual has such uniqueness. To call those questions the same is disrespectful. I respect your questions. They are not the same. They have nuances of their own, colors of their own, but you need very penetrating eyes to see the difference, otherwise you may not be able to see.

When you look around and you see all the trees are green, do you think it is the same green? Then you don’t know how to look at color. Then bring a painter, then ask the painter and he will say, “They are all different greens. There are thousands of types of greens — different shades, different nuances. No two trees are the same green.” Just look around and you will see — yes, each green is a different green.

So are questions. And even if the same person asks the question again and again, then too it cannot be the same, because you go on changing. Nothing is static. You cannot step in the same river twice, and you cannot meet the same person again. Shaila cannot ask this question tomorrow, because there will be no more the same person tomorrow. The Ganges will have flowed, much water will have gone down. This moment it is relevant, tomorrow it may not be relevant, something else may surface in the consciousness.

No two persons can ask the same question, and not even the same person can ask the same question again, because the person goes on changing. A person is like a flame, constantly changing. But again you have to look very deep. I have never come across the same questions. I am always thrilled by your questions. I always wonder how you manage to ask. “Don’t you get bored, bored and fed up, day after day answering the same questions while we sit here with ears blocked, eyes tight, mouths sealed, never ever getting the message that there are no answers?”

Just because you sit there “ears blocked, eyes tight, mouth sealed, never ever getting the message,” it becomes a challenge to me. It is a great adventure. You persist, I also persist. The question is: Who is going to win? Whether you will remain always closed or some day you will take pity on me and you will listen… open your ears, your heart, a little bit? It is a struggle. It is wrestling that goes on between the master and the disciple — a constant fight.

And the disciple cannot win. It has never been heard that he can win. He can postpone, he can delay, but he cannot win. And the more you delay the more your defeat becomes certain. I am encroaching on your being in different ways. You just go on sitting there with your closed ears and closed eyes and closed heart — you just remain there, that’s all. You just be here. Sooner or later, one day, you will have heard the message.

How long can you go on remaining closed? They say if a man persists in his folly he becomes wise. You persist. Some day, in spite of you, you will have heard. That’s why I go on speaking every morning, every evening, year in, year out. And you say, “… never ever getting the message — that there are no answers.” You will get that message only when there are no questions in your mind, never before that. How can you get the message that there are no answers if you have questions yet? The very question presupposes an answer. The question is the search for the answer. The question has taken it for granted that the answer exists, otherwise how will the question exist? The question cannot exist on its own, it depends on the answer or at least on the possibility of the answer.

The day you realize that there are no longer any questions in you, only that day will the message be heard that there are no answers. And that day you will see that neither you have asked nor I have answered. There has been utter silence. All that questioning and answering has been like a dream.

But because you question, I have to answer. That is the only way to help you to get rid of your questions. Remember, my answers are not answers but only devices. My answers are not answering your questions, because I know perfectly well that there are no questions. All questions are false. You have dreamed about them. But when you ask, I respect you. I answer. My answer is just a respect to you, and my answer is a device. It will help you to see that the question by and by disappears.

One day suddenly you will be awake with no questions. That day you will see that I have not answered a single thing. Nothing can be answered because there is not a single question in existence. Existence exists without any questions. It is a mystery — not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be loved, a mystery to be lived.

And Shaila says: “You continually astound me in Your dewdrop freshness in the early morning light and still I am blind, dead, lame, cut off from sharing in Your radiance except for brief moments.”

Those brief moments will do. Those brief moments are the hope. In those brief moments I will enter in you. Those brief moments will become bigger and bigger slowly. One day you will find those brief moments have won over you. Even if for a single moment there is a contact between me and you, it is enough, it is more than enough. Even that small insight will become a fire in you. That small spark is going to burn your whole mind utterly, to the very roots, root and all.

Source – Osho Book “The Diamond Sutra”

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January 22, 2010(Below is the transcript of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.You can watch the Live webcast of future satsangs)

Q: Guruji, the world knows you as a spiritual leader. Would you please share your experiences of your knowing that you are endowed with such spiritual power?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What do you want to know? I am like this from the beginning and I will continue to be like this in the future also. Usually, people come to the spiritual path when they get some disappointment. This is not the case always, but usually it is such. People take sanyas (renounce the world) when they have had failures in their love lives, or some problem or another. Nothing like that, at all for me. In fact, every child is born with spiritual knowledge but when you grow up, you start losing that. A yogi is becoming a child again, getting in touch with your pure essence.

Q: Guruji whenever I think of you I become very emotional, tears begin to roll down and my heart starts melting. What to do? Is it good or bad?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don’t tag your emotions as good or bad. When your heart opens up tears come, it’s natural. Let it be. It is said in scriptures that tears of love are so precious that even angels run to collect them. Even on heaven, there are no tears of love. The most wonderful thing on the planet, on earth is to have tears of love, tears of gratitude. That indicates that our life is glorious. That makes our life rich and fulfilled. Fulfillment in life is when you have tears of gratitude and that comes by luck. You can’t manufacture tears of gratitude; you can’t put glycerin and have tears of gratitude coming in. When you realize what all you have received in life, your heart opens up.

Q: Guruji, sometimes I feel connected to you and sometimes I don’t. I am confused if you are my master or someone else. What should I do?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know on these matters I don’t give any clarifications. I create even more confusion for you to work on that confusion .You are given an exercise so that you do it. The teacher gives you the problem and he wants you to find a solution to the problem. In schools and colleges you are not given solutions and asked to find problems for that. A teacher’s job is to create confusion so that you can exercise your intellect, your mind, your intuition and your inner voice to see and come up with a solution.

Q: Dear Guruji, our brain is more than a computer. Scientists say that we use very little of our brain. Einstein is said to have used 32 percent of his brain. If we want to use 40 – 50 percent of our brain what efforts do we need to put? What will be its consequences if our brain becomes overactive?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: That’s a problem. So we need to first learn how to calm our mind down. Only a calm mind can come up with collective thoughts. Disturbed and chaotic mind will give rise to chaotic thoughts only and chaotic thoughts are coming in abundance. How to streamline the thoughts is an art in itself, the art of silence. How can you do it? With meditation, the mind becomes calm and collective, thoughts become focused, meaningful, purposeful and focused.

Q: Does man need money or God?
My Answer Both.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Some think God is money. Many think money is God and very few know that God himself is money. God is love and when you have richness of love in you, you will see how abundance flows in life. There is a saying in sanskrit:‘Udyoginam purush sindh mupayi tilaxmi’God comes to you in the form of money – wealth is a consort of God. Consort of God, spirit of God comes to you as abundance when you put effort, to one who is working and not to one who is lazy. And one who has confidence and courage. So the one who has courage and confidence, and who puts in effort will get money. Don’t keep buying lottery tickets and sit at home. This is the biggest problem – you want money but you don’t want to do anything. So we have to put in effort. Money is just a means not an end in itself. You will need that but is it everything? No. You may have a lot of money but if you can’t eat, you can’t sleep well at night then that money is of no use. It loses it’s utility. So many people come here who have a lot of wealth and are depressed. They want to quit everything, their job, everything.


The World Health Organization (WHO) says that in the next 20 years, 40–45 percent of the population will be depressed. What’s the point in having so much money and prosperity in the world when so many people are getting depressed? That’s why you need to have balance in life, balance of material and spiritual life. Isn’t it? Often people think spirituality means do nothing and sit quietly.

My feeling is next generation will be of spiritual generation. After computer age we will have spiritual age. Spiritual people will be on great demand. Anything done for spirituality will be highly demanded. We can see some of pattern starting these days.

 No, it is not so. You should work. Even in the ashram there are 600 people who work -day and night. There is no Sunday and no Monday for them and they work round the clock. People come here all the time and they work. Kitchen people are working so hard. The kitchen never takes rest. You have any idea how much food they cook everyday when there is no big program? 600 – 700 Kg of rice is being cooked daily, 70 Kg of salt is put in, and 100 kg of vegetables are cut every day. So much of work they do. The housing department works tirelessly. And they are still smiling. And there are people who go and work in the fields. They are working in slums. There are teachers who are working worldwide. They work day and night. In Karnataka, itself, we have 78 slums and there are many different classes being run, educational classes, computer classes. Seva is a part of spirituality and definitely you can’t do charity with an empty bowl. You need money for service. But here nobody worries about money and charity happens, everything happens spontaneously. So these are some of the things we need to keep in our mind. You have money, you earn money, it’s good but you should keep aside some part for charity, whatever your capacity is 3 – 10%. Keep it aside.Along with it do your spiritual practices daily.

Once in a year, keep seven days completely for spirituality and then you don’t sit and calculate money. You come here and be 100 percent here, and take care of your health, do yoga, pranayama, meditation and learning. It is a very common experience when businessmen come here leaving their jobs for some time and do seva, meditation and the advance course, they start getting better contracts. Their wealth on the other side starts increasing. What they used to get putting in a lot of effort, starts to happen with very less effort. That is when sattva in you rises. Sattva is positive harmony within you and when that dwells up, your work outside also becomes smother and better.

Q: What is enlightenment? When is one said to be enlightened?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you say a word, you have already heard a definition for it. I would say enlightenment is a connection with the universal spirit, realizing that you are part of it, you are that. Living unconditional love without any effort, you don’t have to put any effort for that. Being like an open book, being natural and all these qualities are there in every individual. It only needs a little nurturing and then it starts blossoming. So when you walk, walk like you are enlightened, you are open, you are like a child, and you are free – emotionally, mentally and intellectually. Enjoy the freedom. When you don’t have any cravings and aversions of your own, then you can give yourself a certificate that you are enlightened. But you should be over all your cravings and aversions.Clear heart, clear mind and clarity in action are all part of enlightenment. If you look at a child of two-three years, or a baby of six months – there is unconditional love in his eyes. Every baby has all these qualities but minus wisdom. When you grow old keep all these qualities in you like innocence, and have the depth of wisdom along with it. That is what it is.

Q: What does a Guru want from a disciple and what does a disciple want from his Guru?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A Guru only wants the disciple to progress, to blossom, not to be unstable, just be happy, unselfish and serve people. And whatever a disciple wants from Guru, Guru keeps on bestowing that. Initially, a disciple asks for little things and then asks for great things. The Guru sometimes give him the little things he wants and sometimes doesn’t. (laughter)

Q: Guruji, Kabirdas has said Nindak neare rakiya angan kuti shava,bin pani sabun bina nirmal kare suhayHow to identify a good critique?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How can a critique can be classified as good or bad? (laughter)Nindak neare rakiya angan kuti shava,bin pani sabun bina nirmal kare suhayThe great Indian saint Kabirdas has said that keep someone who criticizes you close by, that will keep your house, your mind clean – without soap and water. Like you need soap and water to keep your body clean, like that one who blames you, you should keep close by.

If everybody around keeps praising you, they may not keep all the facts in front of you. Someone who is criticizing you, will show you your pitfalls. Welcome criticism, anybody who criticizes you, welcome that. Don’t shy away from criticism. Isn’t it a part of DSN? (an Art of Living program) You all have done DSN? You should be able to give constructive criticism and also take criticism. That is the strength. And there is no good critique or bad critique.Keep them nearby means that don’t run away from critique, don’t stop talking to them. You stop talking with someone who criticizes you. Yesterday if somebody criticizes you; you talk to them normally today. Don’t shun them.

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Purpose in Life

Question – Is the only purpose in Life Self-Realization?

Osho on Purpose of Life

Osho – No sir, not even that. Even self-realization is not the purpose. Somehow, you cannot live without purpose. You have an obsession with purpose, some purpose HAS to be there. Now if there is no other purpose, let it be self-realization. And you will feel good, you will feel very good – at least there is some purpose: self-realization. Again you have settled, again you have started thinking in terms of means and ends. Again desire will flower, you have to attain to self-realization. Again the future enters in, again you can dream.

Before, it may have been money, power, prestige. It may have been God, moksha, nirvana, the kingdom of God. Now it is self-realization. But you have to keep some goal there. And Hakuin says all is here. You want to have something on the other shore. And Hakuin says this is the only shore. The other shore is hidden in THIS shore. You are not to go anywhere, you are not to seek and search, it is already the case. You have just to be here, for a single moment be here, and…THIS VERY BODY THE BUDDHA.

Now you are creating another…Can’t you live without problems? Can’t you drop the goal-oriented approach? Can’t you be in the present? Can you only be in the future? And to be in the future is to be false, because the future has not come yet. People know only two ways to be: either they are in the past or in the future. Their identity comes either from the past or from the future. In the present they feel very shaky because in the present the identity disappears the self disappears. In the present there is nothing like ego.

Just look into it, this very moment. You are utterly here, not a single thought stirring, silence all around: where are you? In this silence, how can you exist? It effaces you, you become a tabula rasa, you become a child again. To hold to identity, either you have to look to the past…it supplies identity. You have a Ph. D. from a university, you are a doctor or an engineer, a scientist, a poet, you have written so many books. Or you belong to a royal family, or this and that. You have done these things and those things – all those accumulated acts, they become the sum total of your being. And you are not the sum total of your acts. There is another man hidden behind your acts – the real man, the essential man. The essential man has never done a thing. It is simply there, it is not a doer.

But you will cling to the identity. You have been appreciated, you will ding to it. Even if you have been condemned you will ding to it. The saints cling to their past, and so ding the sinners. The good man dings to the past, so dings the bad man, because they both need identity. And people prefer to have a bad identity than no identity. At least one knows who one is: ’I am a prisoner, I have been put in the prison for twenty years, I am a thief or a murderer. At least I know something about myself.’

Then somebody else is a saint and he has renounced the world and he fasts every month and he eats only once a day. He sleeps only three hours, thousands of people worship him, his paradise is certain, he has so many virtues. But both are clinging to identity. And both are in the same boat, the sinner and the saint.

Or you start gathering identity from the future. You are going to do this, you are going to BE this – you will become the president of a country, or you will become very famous, or you will write a book soon and you are going to win a Nobel prize. You go on thinking of the future, and that gives you a feeling who you are.

But both are false. The true is only the present. Time knows no past, no future; past and future are mind things. Time knows only one tense, and that is the present. But to be in the present means to destroy all goals, to have no future-involvement. Otherwise your energy will be flowing in that direction.

Now you say: IS THE ONLY PURPOSE IN LIFE SELF-REALIZATION?
I go on repeating every day that there is no purpose in life, life is purposeless. Hence it is beautiful. Purpose makes everything business-like. Life is poetry, it is not business. Now you have found a word – you must have thought I would like this word, ’self-realization’. All nonsense; there is no self to realize. Nothing has to be realized. The real is real – what are you going to realize! The real is already real and the unreal is unreal. ’Realization’ means something is not real yet and you are going to make it real. How can you make something which is unreal real somewhere in the future? How can you transform a lie into a truth? A lie will remain a lie, and truth has always been truth. Nothing has to be realized.

Then what has to be done? The question arises again and again in your mind. In fact nothing has to be done, you have only to see the futility of doing. In that seeing, action stops, mind stops. And that which has been with you for ever, you come to feel it, to know it. Not that you realize it, you simply recognize it. A forgotten thing is remembered again, that’s all.

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January 25, 2010(Below is the transcript of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.You can watch the Live webcast of future satsangs)

Q: I feel so good and full here but at times when I see rich and famous people, I feel I am nothing, I feel lack. Please help.

Basically my feeling is different. Famous and rich people has lost a lot. Becoming famous requires a lot of energy. A loss of life. Money on the cost of life. what a business. basically it is your ego that is feeling jealous. that’s why you have such kind of feeling.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, if you want to become one of those stars then go for it, it’s not so difficult. Whether you are a hero, heroine, you will find once you are in the field which you are finding very great – it is just ok. If your calling is very strong then go for it, it is not difficult.

You know, our body is constantly emitting energy, vibrations. You are emitting energy all the time. And when you know your vibrations is what makes things happen in the world, you will know that you are in control. So when you are thinking that things are going to be negative then that is what seed you are putting in the universe, and that is going to happen. So with your positive thinking, positive ideas, positive sankalpa… It is said, that let positive vibrations come out of you.

Negative thoughts arise in you, yet you tell, everything is positive. And how does that happen? Not by just thinking, but by relaxing. Cutting a thought with another thought is only superficial but cutting a thought by silence, by letting go, bydevotion, by faith, by surrendering to God, it is deeper.

Maharishi Patanjali says that poise of mind happens when you offer all that you can’t handle yourself to God, to the universal spirit.

The universal spirit is all around you, all the time. It doesn’t have a form, a name but it is around you all the time and you surrender your desires to that universal spirit. Be sure and know that your problem is going to be solved. That is siddhi,perfection. You notice in your own life, be centered, relax and let go and you will see things are happening effortlessly, it has to happen that way and if you don’t find that way, then there is some screw in the mind that is loose, that needs to be fixed. People ask for blessings and I give blessings in abundance, blank cheques of blessings but you should know how to fill it, encash it and the way to encash it is, ‘it is going to be done’, ‘my needs will be taken care of’, ‘best will be done’ without a question. Sometimes we don’t know what we desire, or we desire for something that we don’t deserve, or we desire for something much less than what we deserve. Ask and it will be given. When we deserve for more and desire for less, ask skillfully. So what is the way? Ask skillfully, and how: ‘I want this or anything better than this’.

And have that positive frame of mind because it’s all neurons. One of the scientists says that our brain has different types of neurons, and there are certain neurons which create barriers. When a person in front of you touches someone else, the brain says, ‘You are being touched’ but there are certain neurons in hand which sends a signal to the brain that says, ‘it is not you being touched’. If your hand is given anesthesia and then if someone touches someone else, you will also feel the touch. And he (the scientist) says, we all are nothing but neurons, we all are connected,everybody is connected. The subtler we go we find there are only vibrations, and there are no neutrons, protons, electrons but all that exists is – vibrations. And then he says numbers are very important.

In Rudrapooja we say ‘ekachame, trisraschame…’,yesterday only we understood why do we say that. We chant odd numbers first and then even numbers in the Rudrapooja. He said if numbers won’t be there, the whole universe will collapse. Everything exists on numbers, on figures and if one number goes missing, the whole universe will collapse. It’s like on a cell phone you want to make a call and if you dial one wrong digit the call never goes to the right person. One can’t argue saying, ‘If one digit is wrongly dialed, how come I can’t make a call?’ And if everything is right, then life gets connected, so numbers are so important. And it is all just vibration.

One of the greatest physicist who was in the team of creating first nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki says. ‘I studied matter for 35 years to find out it doesn’t exist. What exists is just vibration’. Everyone of us is emitting andabsorbing vibrations. And chanting, singing creates such a positive vibrations, you become a source of energy.

What is the difference between a bulb which is lit and a bulb which is not? One is emitting energy and in the other, no energy movement is there. And all singing,chanting and meditating is like lighting the bulb. Have you noticed the difference between those who are doing all this with faith and someone who has never done this? It reflects on their face. If you haven’t started noticing you better start noticing! (laughter)

What happens when you are worrying all the time? Suddenly you find the brain, the upper part has become like a stone, the heart has become like a stone. Similarly what happens when you hear a negative comment about yourself from somebody, the whole body has become heavy. You can’t avoid people saying negative things about you. How many have this question? And how many have this experience? When someone says something negative about you or when a close friend of you is feeling very low, suddenly you also start feeling the same, your whole energy gets down. That is why satsang is that important, this knowledge is that important.

 When you focus on someone who is depressed, you also feel the same and when you participate in a satsang your whole focus is shifted to knowledge. That’s why the Guru is important because when you think of Guru, when you shift your focus to the Guru in a few moments, your energy gets restored, you get back to your normal self. How many of you have experienced this? 

There is an old proverb ‘Guru bina gati nahin’ means there is no progress without the Guru because there are so many people around you and you are being tossed and turned by everybody’s moods, emotions and blames, and you are stuck, you can’t notice that. But when a Guru is there nothing of this will matter to you and even if it does it is only for few minutes or hours and then you are able to push through it, move through it. Like you have a rain coat and if it is raining you can always protect yourself from rain. In this context ancient people in India, Korea, Japan even in China had said that spiritual teacher, master or a person who is on the path is so important, so that you don’t have to keep feeling this negative vibrations, heaviness for daystogether.

Secondly, if you find nobody is available, no commune is available then what you do? Chant, do pranayama, nature walk, Vedanta or this science that everything is just vibrations.

Numbers are very important, so we chant ‘Om NamahShivaya’ 108 times, in Islam also they put a number 786, right? In Rudra Abhishek we chant an odd and even sequence of numbers. That changes the vibrations. Even pundits don’t have answers of chanting numbers in Rudra Abhisheka. We have to listen to the scientists to understand. They say this whole space is curved. Space is also like water, like you put a ball in water it curls. Water is a medium, like that space is also a medium and this was also said thousands of years ago in Vedas and that is why, it is the fifth element. Space is where vibration travels, it is a medium like water, air, fire and earth. And the same thing, scientists are saying today. It is amazing to see how people 10,000 years ago knew that space has a curvature, it is a medium and there are not one but 10 dimensions, which is the spirit. These facts open your mind to a higher reality.

Q: How can dispassion be practiced with close relations like family? Won’t that make me indifferent?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You know when you broaden your vision, dispassion is there, it comes naturally. It is not something that you force yourself to practice and say, ‘I am going to be dispassionate’. The mind says, ‘You want to do this’ and you say, ‘No, I need to be dispassionate’. It is not an intellectual exercise but a phenomenon. Dispassion happens when knowledge expands, awareness expands and when you are more alert. The state that comes in you is dispassion.
Q: What is the meaning of surrender? Does that mean not to do anything, let things happen and nature will take care of you?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No no. You do your 100 percent and when you can’t do any more instead of saying, ‘I give up’ in frustration, you say, ‘I give up’ with a smile and that is surrender. When you say it with anger it is frustration and when you say it with a smile; that is surrender.

Q: Guruji, it takes effort to start sun salutation but then I start finding intoxication in it. Will you please describe the phenomenon behind?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you should do sun salutation. A little effort is needed for a beginner and a little effort is essential to begin with. What is happening with effort? The ‘rajogun’ or the restlessness in body is getting channelized. Thetendencies to act get fulfilled and then what you are left with is simple harmony and that is sattva. So rajogun (restlessness) gets exhausted by your exercise and sattva brings you into meditation. So it’s good to put some effort in the beginning and in the end you let go and relax, there lies the reality.

Q: What karma should I do that I don’t have to take birth again?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Why not take birth again? We don’t want to take birth again because we find this birth miserable but when there is joy in this birth, you are doing satsang daily, then why not take birth again? When you are in joy, doing satsang and serving people around then you will say I should have hundred more births like this. When you are so tired of this birth, when hopes and desires have tired you, whendesires have burnt you then only you say, ‘I don’t want to take birth again’. Whatever desires you have, fulfill those and those which are not to be fulfilled, drop those and be happy.

Q: What is the difference between a dream and an aim?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: When you talk about an aim you think it is practical, but when you say I have a dream, you think it may be or may not be practical. When you say, ‘I have a dream’ there is a little doubt about it but you feel stronger about having an aim.

Q: Guruji, does healing work?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: From your side, definitely. If it heals from your side other’s will get healed.

Q: Guruji, you are so beautiful, so serene that I can’t move my eyes from you? Who are you?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First ask yourself, ‘who am I?’ and when you get this answer you will also know who I am.

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