Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Highlights of Satsang with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji at Bangalore Ashram 8th of March 2013.


What is a sin and what is a benevolent action?


An action that hurts others and oneself is a sin. An action that benefits others and ourselves is benevolence.


Can spirituality cure poverty?


Definitely. Spirituality brings a balance to the mind and brings great strength to us to do stuff.  Spirituality also grants the intuition of where to put the effort. Many dig for water where it is dry. Spirituality gives correct direction for your effort.  Removing the veil of ignorance spread over the mind is the same as waking the sleeping Divinity within oneself.


How should our speech be?


There is a lovely kannada song about this... Sri Sri sang it and translated to hindi... This is my translation of the hindi.  When you speak, it should be like a string of softly sparkling pearls. Clean and bright.  Your words should be clear as crystal, lucid and brilliant. Lord Shiva Himself should nod away in agreement with your words... Your speech should be so convincing and confident.


If Guru is there, is there any need for Pooja, astrology etc?


If the faith in the Guru is unshakable, unbreakable then no need for anything else. But a little bit of all this is always nice. Just a pinch of it. And anyways all this has no charm or strength when Guru is missing.


What's the point of all this creation, universes, life, etc?


What's the point of cricket?  Throwing a ball, hitting it, running after it... “For a bit of fun” - answered the questioner. Exactly. The vast infinite Divinity wanted to have a bit of fun. That's why this is called a Leela - a play. While you are in it... Simply enjoy it.


What's the significance of taking a sankalpa?


Sankalpa is taking the consciousness to the infinite universe. And then bringing it to the present, and make some special wish for oneself or family or friends.
Anyways in a Yagya, just being here, doing some service for others you become part of it and gain tremendous merit.
But if you want to take some special part in it, be part of a few of the rituals, then this provision is also made in the form of a sankalpa.

Six Signs of a Seeker

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

1. Acknowledging that one knows very little.

Many people think they know, without knowing or they get stuck in their limited knowledge. So they never learn. So the first thing is to acknowledge that one knows very little.

2. Willingness to know.

Many people acknowledge that they do not know, but they are not ready to learn.

3. Being non-judgmental and open-minded.

Some people would like to learn but their judgmental attitude and close-mindedness does not allow them to learn.

4. Total commitment and one-pointedness to the path one has chosen.

Some people are open-minded but lack commitment and one-pointedness. They keep shopping here and there and never progress.

5. Always putting truth and service before pleasure.

Sometimes even committed and one-pointed people stay away from the path in pursuit of momentary pleasures.

6. Patience and perseverance.

Some people are not swayed by pleasures and are committed and one-pointed, but if they lack patience and perseverance, they become restless and dejected.

What is the meaning of Rudra Puja, Rudra Abhishek

Q: Dear Guruji, what is the real meaning and importance of Rudra Pooja? And what happens to the people or the place?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Rudrabhishek is an ancient chanting which was downloaded from the Aakasha (space). When the ancient sages and Rishis sat in meditation, they heard, and what they heard, they started transferring to other people. The effect of Rudrabhishek is it creates positive energy and removes negative vibes. And a lot is said about the Rudrabhishek. When Rudrabishek happens nature flourishes, nature becomes joyful, happy.

Main thing is the vibration, that is it. If you ask me, ’Do you know the meaning of all the chants? I will say, ’I also don’t know.’ It’s the vibration of the chants that is important and then the meaning.
There are two parts, the first part says, ’Namo, namo, namo, namo!’
Mana, means mind. The word mind in English comes from Sanskrit word Mana.
Nama is the reverse of the mind. The mind going to its source is called Nama.
When the mind goes outside to experience the world, it is Mana. So Nama. is the mind going back to its source.
When it goes to its source, what does it find? Everything is made up of one consciousness.
Now, what do the scientists today say? God Particle – by which everything has been made. Thousands of years ago the Rishis said the same thing, that everything is made up of one thing, and that they called Brahman. – that which is neither male nor female. It is nothing but a Tattva. Tattva means principle. A great principle by which everything is made of, they called it Bramhan. And when that Bramhan becomes personal, it is called Shiva Tattva – the innocent Divinity; that is in everything. That is why we say, ‘Namo, namo!’
In the trees, in the greenery, in the birds, even in the thieves, and in a dacoit, everywhere, it is the same one principle.

Then, the second part will say, ‘Chame, chame, chame, chame.’ You have heard this, isn’t it?! This means, everything is in Me.

Me’ in English comes from the Sanskrit word ’ Ma’, which means Myself.
Ma Ma’ means ’ For Me’, ‘In Me’. So, everything is in terms of ; myself;. The second part is everything is for me and everything is in terms of me.

Even for numbers they say, ‘Ekaachame’, which means, one, two, three, four, they are all my form; Myself. Like that, ‘Sugamchame’, happiness for me! ‘Abhayanchame’, fearlessness, happiness, health, all the good things in the universe, let them all come to me, and they are all part of me. That is it.

And as this is being chanted, usually milk and water runs through the crystal, drop by drop. This is the ancient method. It is done with water or in fire as well.
What they do is they keep a fire and they put different herbs for the different chants. Or you allow a string of water to keep falling on a crystal and you listen to this chanting – this is the ancient method.

And done on Mondays it is even more special. Monday is the day of the moon and the moon and mind are connected. Mantra, mind, moon, they are all connected somewhere. So, in India, it is a tradition, they have this chanting going on in the Ashrams. So in our ashram also, every Monday, we have this.

All the five elements are used in Pooja. Pooja means honoring all the elements, born out of fullness. So, fire, water, incense sticks, fruits, flowers, rice, whatever nature has given to us, those things are used and the chanting goes on.
There is a lot of depth and meaning to it. You can go and do some research on it, more and more things will come out.

Mainly, it creates more positive ions, more so when people are meditating.
Just doing it as a ritual is not that effective because it is said that the Veda Mantras are effective when people are awake from within; for them, these mantras have more meaning. So, they help you to go deep into meditation.

Don’t try to get over the misunderstanding

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Don’t try to get over the misunderstanding. If there is a misunderstanding, just overlook that.

Educate and ignore. Move forward. Don’t do postmortem, i.e., sit and dig, ‘Why did you say that?’, ‘You don’t love me’, all this garbage is such a waste of time. We dwell into so much emotional garbage. We should throw them all out and have bubbling enthusiasm. You should move with enthusiasm.

If someone lacks enthusiasm, push them into enthusiasm, and do not go on complaining or asking for explanation from people.

To improve family relations you need two things - No Explanations and No Complaints. That’s it. Got it?

Asking explanation from others is a foolish thing. And explaining to others thinking they would understand is another foolish thing. It doesn’t work both ways. The best is to just move forward.

~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Who is a volunteer?

Sri Sri Ravishankar

Who is a volunteer? One who comes to help, without being asked to help; one who is self-motivated, inspired, becomes a volunteer.

There is the possibility of the inspirational motivation going down in a volunteer, which could bring frustration.

Usually volunteers come from the space of demand rather than humility – this dilutes the quality.

Another slack that could happen to a volunteer is that they could slip away from commitment, thinking there is no 'boss' – "If I like it, I do it; if I don't like it, I don't!" It is like the steering wheel of a car – if all the tires say they do not need steering, then the car cannot run smoothly. If you want to construct a building, you have to accept the authority of the structural engineer.

All these can only be overcome by being more grounded in spiritual knowledge. A volunteer devoid of spiritual dimension is utterly weak.

1) A volunteer needs to stick to his commitment.

2) The integrity in a volunteer comes from spiritual practices.

3) The authority needs to be acknowledged.

4) The strength of a volunteer comes from the challenges he is ready to willingly face.

5) A volunteer moves beyond boundaries as he finds he is capable of doing so many things he never ever thought of doing.

6) A true volunteer does not expect appreciation or reward.

7) A volunteer has such a joy – that joy, itself, comes as the reward.

8) If a volunteer thinks he is obliging somebody, he is thoroughly mistaken. He is 'volunteering' because he derives so much joy out of it.

The joy is immediate – it does not come on the first of every month in the form of a salary!

When a volunteer realizes this, he is filled with gratitude.

When a volunteer waivers from within, the support system is knowledge and good friends.

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