Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Invitation for Maha Shivratri 2015 Celebration at Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore

"When you sit and meditate, you are in the Shiva principle. And that Shiva principle is truth, benevolence and beauty. These three things together form Shiva." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Mahashivratri is an annual celebration at the Art of Living International Center in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sanskrit chants from the Vedas create a meditative and joyous aura in the place, overflowing with meditators.

mahashivratri 2015 art of living ashram

Don’t miss it. Register now at www.bangaloreashram.org

DSN course at Art of Living Bangalore Ashram, 20 to 23 November 2014

"Why do you think you are weak? Wake up and see you have all the strength" - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
dsn

Break free from your personal barriers, and create personal empowerment!
DSN Program at the Art of Living International Ashram
Dates: 20th - 23rd November 2014 (Reporting by 5pm on 20th Nov)
Online Registration: www.bangaloreashram.org
For Details Call: 080 67262626/27/28

Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

Q: Guruji, Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Because there are so many thoughts wandering in your mind, with the sound of the bells you come into the present. Your thoughts come to a halt.
The drummers beat large drums, play the Naadaswaram, shehnai, bells, and conch. All these sounds are made so that your mind becomes quieter.
Your mind is like a kid. When a kid is crying, you cry louder than the kid and the kid becomes quiet. Have you noticed that? In the same way, when there is so much noise in your mind and too many thoughts, they blow the conch, ring the bell and with all the sounds, the mind comes to the present moment.
With so much noise around, the mind cannot think. It cannot wander. So it is used as a technique.
All outside sounds suppress the sound of the mind for a little while. This short-term suppression should lead the mind to silence. Once it goes into the depths of meditation, all words feel burdensome. But when the mind is full of words, and you are troubled by too many thoughts, these sounds bring relief. Have you seen in the Buddhist monastery, there is a big gong? They ring the gong and that vibration will keep you silent. So, from sound to silence, the journey is very important.

What is the use of Seva? How does Seva help meditation?

Q: Guruji what is the use of Seva? How does it help meditation?


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Listen, suppose you are stranded in some place and you need someone to give you a lift in their car or taxi and nobody stops their car to give you a lift, how would you feel?


You are carrying two bags and you have to go to the restroom in a railway station. You can’t leave the bags unattended and you have to go to the restroom, what will you do? You will find some nice elderly person, go to them and keep the bags with them requesting them to take care while you go for five minutes to the restroom. Don’t you need other’s help? If they refuse to help you then how can you survive? You know in this world as human beings we have to help each other and that is what seva is.

Seva means what? ‘Sa’ means ‘him’ which refers to God and ‘Eva’ means ‘like him’; doing things like him.

God does so many things for you but does not expect anything in return from you. Whether you pray to him, thank him or not he will still continue to do. He is not doing you a favor. When you thank God, that is for your own joy, it does not matter to God. In the same way whether people acknowledge your work or not, whether they thank you or not you still do it because you find that it is important to do!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Why is spirituality needed

Q: Why is spirituality needed?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay now, you are both matter and spirit right? Are you only matter? No! You are matter and you are also spirit. Our body is matter, our mind, intellect, emotions, they are part of the spirit. So anything that nurtures the mind, that keeps you sane, that keep you intelligent, that keeps you good hearted, kind-hearted, loving, creative is all spiritual. That which uplifts the spirit is spirituality. What can uplift the spirit? Meditation, knowledge! Knowledge about what is true, what is not true; what is real, what is not real. And then service activities, sharing yourself with others, those who are in need. Contributing to the poor, having compassion, all this is part of spirit.

And anything that uplifts the spirit is spirituality.

So in spirituality, meditation is the first thing. 60% of spirituality is meditation, going in and cleansing your heart and mind and then 20% is service and then 20% is knowledge, wisdom and that makes spirituality. This is very much essential for you to be a good human being. Spirituality is essential. It is because of spirituality that there is honesty, there is creativity, there is compassion, there is service to society, dynamism and most of all, energy. If people are getting depressed in the world today it is because of the lack of spirituality.

How can I achieve the ultimate bliss

Q: Dear Guruji, when and how can I achieve the ultimate bliss?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No chance (laughter). No way. Forget about it. Are you ready to forget it? Then you got it NOW. Your mind is anxious for “ultimate happiness, ultimate bliss, one day I want to achieve...”

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