Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in satsang at the Art of Living International Center, Bangalore:
Whenever you do any work, in that there are two types of obstacles.One is associated with the mind (Buddhi) and the other is perfection (Siddhi), ability to do any work flawlessly.
If you want to do any work perfectly then there are challenges or obstacles, isn’t it? In the same manner, mind also creates obstacles. If good thoughts come to mind, then work is done. But if there is negativity in thought, then work will just get stuck. So, in order to any work, there has to be mind (Buddhi) or thought behind it to do that work. Along with this, what we also need is effectiveness. For example, if the operation was successful but the patient died then it is of no use, isn’t it? This means ‘Siddhi’ is not there. What is Siddhi? It is the ability to get the work done in the same manner as it was supposed to be completed. To get any work done without any flaw is ‘Siddhi’.
There is a saying in Kannada, which means that when there were teeth, that time peanuts were not there, and when peanuts are there, no teeth left! You got the peanut, but this will not be called as ‘Siddhi’. That which you get well in advance from needed time, and in more quantity than it was supposed to be, that is ‘Siddhi’. And even to receive before time or on time and in the right quantity as required, is also Siddhi.
And to remove both these types of obstacles, one needs grace of God. That is the secret of prayer to Lord Ganpati.
Lord Ganpati is vast like the sky and also residing at our first chakra, ‘muladhara chakra’ in the body, at the base of spine, backbone of our life. He is inside us only. In the Ganpati Puja, what we say is that you are already there in me, for some time please come out in this clay idol of mine as I need to play with you.
Human tendency is to play and in order to play any game, we need at least two parties, opponents. How can you play alone? For example, if you are playing badminton then somebody should be there to return that shot. You cannot play any game alone. That is why it is said that, Lord Ganpati, you are inside me only but please do come outside and sit in the idol so that we can play for some time. And after playing, we request that you please go back inside again, that is why we immerse idols in the water.
This is the secret. In olden days people made these spiritual practices, so that we can enjoy and celebrate life. If one wears golden ornaments then only he or she will be happy, but if the same gold is on God or Goddess then everybody can see it publicly and appreciate it’s beauty. And the main attraction of this festival is ‘modak’ (sweet), which after eating you feel good, happy, that is sweet (modak). Let everyone distribute sweet, live life as a celebration. This scientific way was recognized thousands of years ago by ancient people and hence this festival is being celebrated. Also, they said that walk like an elephant, with patience, towards our goal, not like a hen which runs here and there. Elephant walks with profundity. If you see in the eyes of elephant you will see that there is such innocence in them, like a small child. If you have innocence and profoundness, then you can remove any obstacle. Obstacles will anyways come in life, if we get angry or disturbed, then there is no Siddhi, no Buddhi, nothing. There is no success either.
Hence to remove all the obstacles in life, we pray to Lord Ganpati, that let ‘Buddhi’ and ‘Siddhi’ both come together. Mind should be sharp, sattvik (positive) and Siddhi should be on time. Siddhi means contentment, let it happen whatever it has to happen. That which fulfills a desire even before it arises. This is Siddhi.
And Buddhi is that mind which ensures that there are no desires. And even if there are, then mind should watch when the desire arises and know that the desire is nothing.
This is completeness. So you all pray that let your mind be positive and also you get Siddhi for the work. Whatever you do, it should be successful.