Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

Centripetal and Centrifugal force – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Q: Guruji, in our Hindu mythology it is said that this Earth is resting on the hood of a cobra, and when the cobra rises up, this entire Earth shakes. What is the secret behind this?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: See there are two kinds of Earthly forces, one is Centripetal force and the other is Centrifugal force. The movement of these forces is not straight but they have a snake like movement. This fact was known to our ancestors. The Earth is not resting on a snake but by snake they mean centripetal power and centrifugal power. So, that fact has been explained by them in this form.

The Earth on Shesh Naag – naag implies Centripetal force. A snake never moves on a straight course, it makes curves as it slithers forward – this is known as Centripetal force. Centripetal force means that which will not go straight; and the Earth rotates on its axis and around the sun. So these are the 2 kinds of forces Centripetal and Centrifugal. This is what the ancient people have expressed in the form of a cobra. And what is the cobra standing on? It is standing on a turtle, and a turtle symbolizes stability. This is very interesting!

Now, it is also said that if the planet Jupiter (Guru) did not exist, the Earth could not have survived. What the planet Jupiter (Guru) does is, all the meteorites that come from outer space the planet Jupiter (Guru) draws them towards itself, giving protection to the Earth. There is such bombardment going on from outer space on Earth - meteorites, tiny celestial bodies – and what Jupiter does is, it draws them all towards itself and saves the Earth. NASA has created a very beautiful illustration of this. We had said that Guru is the guardian of the entire universe. So the planet was also given the same name Guru (Jupiter) because it protects the Earth.

What is my duty?

Duty is what your heart tells you, when you feel ‘This is what I have to do.’ Expectation is what others want you to do. Have a balance between the two. Sometimes you can fulfill the expectations of others, but your duties are what you need to be more concerned about.

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

On track

When you want to do something, look at your strength. Your weakness is that you start looking at others' strengths! When you are running, you can only look at the track below, not at who's next to you. Like a horse with blinders, you just look at your path and let anybody do whatever he/she wants.

~ 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.

Hinduism, where it started

Hinduism is only a post-European concept. Europeans have given that name. We do not call ourselves by that name. ‘Hindu’ comes from the word ‘Sindhu’. When Greeks and Persians came to India some years before Christ – Alexander and Jerious, and other Persian kings and Greek invaders came – they crossed the Sindhu, and they wanted to know who these people staying in this country are. They did not know their name. They said that river is called Sindhu, and all those people who are on the other side are Sindhus.

In Persian, ‘s’ is pronounced as ‘h’, so ‘Sindh’ becomes ‘Hind’, so they pronounce it as ‘Hindu’; and in Greek it has become ‘Ind’. The word ‘India’ has come from the word ‘Sindhu’ only. ‘Sindh’ becomes ‘Hind’, ‘Hind’ becomes ‘Ind’. So the words ‘Hindu’ and ‘India’ have both been created by these historical conditions, historical circumstances.

Really, this is Bharatvarsh. We call it Bharatvarsh. Even now they say ‘Bharat’. It is not India. ‘India’ is a historical exigency. Similarly, the word ‘Hinduism’ – there is no such thing as that. It is Sanatana Dharma – eternal religion. It is eternal religion because it accepts every level of religious thought. It does not reject any level, but it does not consider any level as final. That is the whole point.

~ Swami Krishnananda

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