Thursday, October 23, 2014

Diwali: Celebrating the Light of Wisdom

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One of the biggest festivals of the East, Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

For an oil lamp to burn, the wick has to be partially immersed in the oil. If the wick is completely drowned in oil, it cannot bring light. Life is like the wick of the lamp, you have to be in the world and yet remain untouched by it. If you are drowned in the materialism of the world, you cannot bring joy and knowledge in your life. By being in the world, yet not drowning in the worldly aspect of it, we can be the light of joy and knowledge.

Diwali is the commemoration of the light of wisdom in our lives. Lamps are lit on this day not just to decorate homes, but also to communicate this profound truth of life. Light the lamp of wisdom and love in every heart and bring a radiant smile on every face.

Diwali is also called Deepavali, which literally means rows of lights. Life has many facets and stages to it and it is important that you throw light on each of them, for life to be fully expressed. The rows of lights remind you that every aspect of life needs your attention and the light of knowledge.

Every human being has some good qualities. And every lamp that you light is symbolic of this. Some people have forbearance, some have love, strength, generosity, while others have the ability to unite people. The latent values in you are like a lamp. Don't be satisfied with lighting just one lamp; light a thousand! You need to light many lights to dispel the darkness of ignorance. By lighting the lamp of wisdom in yourself and acquiring knowledge, you awaken all facets of your being. When they are lit and awakened, it is Diwali.

Another profound symbolism is in the firecrackers that are burnt on this day. In life, you often become like a firecracker, waiting to explode with your pent-up emotions, frustration and anger. When you keep suppressing your emotions, cravings and aversions, they are bound to reach a bursting point. Bursting crackers is a psychological exercise created by the ancient people to release bottled-up emotions. When you see an explosion outside, you feel similar sensations within you as well. Along with the explosion, there is so much light. When you let go of these emotions, serenity dawns.

There is also symbolism in the exchange of gifts and the distribution of sweets during Diwali. Sweets and gift exchanges symbolize the dispelling of the bitterness of the past, and renewal of friendship for the times to come.

Any celebration is incomplete without the spirit of service. Whatever we have received from the Divine, we should share it with others because it is in giving that we receive -- that is true celebration. Happiness and wisdom have to spread and it can happen when people come together in knowledge.

Diwali means to be in the present, so drop the regrets of the past and the worries of the future and live in the moment. It is a time to forget the bickering and negativities that have happened through the year. It is a time when you throw light on the wisdom you have gained and welcome a new beginning. When true wisdom dawns, it gives rise to celebration.

Celebration is the nature of the spirit. The ancient sages brought sacredness in every celebration, so that you don't lose the focus in the hustle-bustle of the activity. Observing rituals and religious practices (called Puja) is simply showing one's gratitude to the Divine. This brings depth to the celebration. The tradition is to put all the wealth you have earned in front of you and feel the abundance. When you feel lack, the lack grows but when you put your attention on abundance, then the abundance grows. In the Arthashastra, Chanakya says, "Dharmasya Moolam Arthah," which means, "prosperity is the root of righteousness."

For the one who does not have spiritual knowledge, Diwali comes only once a year, but for the wise, Diwali is every moment and every day. Wisdom is needed everywhere. Even if one member of the family is shrouded in darkness, we cannot be happy. We need to ignite the light of wisdom in every member of your family, extend it to every member of society and every person on the planet. When true wisdom dawns, it gives rise to celebration.

The Yajurveda says, "Tanme Manaha Shivasankalpam astu" - let noble intentions flow from this mind of ours. This Diwali, celebrate with knowledge and take an intention to serve humanity. Light the lamp of love in your heart; the lamp of abundance in your home; the lamp of compassion to serve others; the lamp of Knowledge to dispel the darkness of ignorance; and the lamp of gratitude for the abundance that the Divine has bestowed on us.

Happy Diwali - Light the Lamp of Knowledge & Wisdom

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Greed Takes Away the Contentment

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You are not happy? You are not contented now? This very moment; right now (Sri Sri snaps his finger)!
Greed takes away the contentment. It is the, 'I want more, I want more', which makes you miserable, which makes you put so much effort! You should think that whatever is needed for me, I will get it. You should have that faith, that it will come to you. Why do you get so disturbed? It is greed which disturbs you. So, not wanting too much of anything; balance! Happiness and contentment comes, the only thing you have to ensure is:
  1. You are not lazy. If you are lazy and you say, 'Let happiness come to me', it is not going to come to you. Lazy people will not be happy.
  2. Don't be selfish. If you are selfish, happiness is not going to come to you. If you only say, 'Me, mine, only me', you are not going to be happy. Selfish people will not be happy.
  3. Don't be greedy. A greedy one will not be happy. If you are greedy and say, 'I want more and more and more', you will not be happy.
  4. People with the feeling of revenge will not be happy. If you want to take revenge on anybody, then you cannot be happy.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How to Bring the Spouse on the Path

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That is a big test.

Do you know why your spouse opposes your path? Let us analyze this! Let's think about this.
  1. Maybe your spouse is very attached to you and wants all your attention, and when your attention is elsewhere, they don’t like it. So if you praise anything, whether it is a course, or a person, they get upset.
    The psychology is what? 'I want my spouse all to myself. She or he must praise me all the time'. If you like something, or praise something, they take a stand so that they cut you out from that and you give all your attention back to them. So, don’t go on praising something beyond a certain limit.
    Is this correct? How many of you say this is correct? That is a general psychology.
  2. Maybe it is out of insecurity.
    Sometimes, if you like something so much, your spouse starts thinking that you may leave the house and go away. This insecurity bugs your spouse, and so they oppose the path.
  3. Could be an ego issue.
    Your spouse does not like being told what they should be doing. They may take it from their friend, but they would not like to take it when it comes from you.
    If their close friend tells them, 'Hey, there is a course on meditation which is very nice, why don't you come with me!' They will say, 'Okay, I will come with you'. But when you say the same thing, they would like to say no because saying no makes them feel more powerful. They feel, 'I can do what I want, and I don't have to do what my spouse is telling me to do'.
    So it could be a power game, to show one-upmanship they refuse to walk on the path.
  4. Money could be the fourth reason.
    When the mind is into something, then money is not a problem, one would spend double the money. So it is not mainly the money, but it appears to be time and money. It is just the mind.
  5. (From the audience): Could be jealousy of the spouse’s happiness!
    Yes, it is strange but true! Jealousy of the spouse’s happiness; can’t see the wife or the husband being happy. Generally, a spouse does everything to make the other happy. A husband works to make his wife happy. A wife does all the house work to make the husband happy. Yet if one of them is happy, it makes the other uncomfortable, because if someone is happy you cannot control them. Whom can you control? One who is unhappy; then you have some control. It is a subtle psychological thing.
    When someone is happy they are also free. They find some sort of freedom inside and this is what some people cannot digest. They think freedom means the other is moving away from them and not involving them.
    Isn’t it strange? Why they don’t want to see the husband or the wife happy is because happiness implies freedom, and they cannot tolerate freedom. They feel they are losing control.
  6. (From the audience): Low self-esteem.
    Yes! The spouse feels low self-esteem, that is why they want to control the other.
So what you need to do is, in very measured way, you should tell your spouse when they are in a good mood, 'You know, I want a gift from you. I want you also to come with me and do a course. Let us both do it together?'

In ancient Vedic times, they would always say that if you are married both of you must come. In any spiritual practice, a single person (of a couple) was not even allowed because it would cause an imbalance; one would grow while the other would not grown. When both husband and wife have come, they both grow together. Otherwise, if one is fulfilled and the other is not fulfilled, there will be conflict in marital life. So they made it a rule, that both of should come.

I usually say, if you partner tells you, 'Don't do meditation', then don't mediate for few days and be very nasty (laughter). Then they will realize that when you meditate you are nice, and when you don’t meditate, you are nasty (laughter). They will tell you, 'Oh, please go and meditate now'. That is a secret clue (laughter).

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Monday, October 20, 2014

You are Strong

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Know that every test in an opportunity for you to grow. Don't take it as a test!
A test is not to know whether you are strong or not, but it for you to realize that 'Yes, I am strong'. God is not ignorant that he needs to check and see whether you have the strength or not. God already knows your capacity; nature knows your capacity. The tests are for you to realize that you are strong.

If you find that you are going through testing times, it is for you to realize that you are much bigger and you can overcome that. It is for your own knowledge.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nature is Intelligent

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See how nature has done it so beautifully! A coconut does not fall when it is heavy and full of water. When the water dries up, it becomes lighter and then it falls. A heavy coconut will never fall, you have to go and pluck it when it is full of water.

Just imagine if someone is just walking and a very heavy coconut falls on their head! My goodness, they will be gone! It is only when a coconut becomes dry and light, then it falls. Nature is so intelligent!

I will tell you a story of two children.
One day, a young boy and a young girl were walking, and one of them said, 'This God is so stupid, he does not have brains! In this small wine he puts such a big pumpkin! And on this big Pipal tree he puts little fruits when it can hold the weight of these big fruits. I think the God has no brains'.
It was a very sunny day, so both of them went to take rest under the big tree. As he was resting a fruit fell on his head. That one fruit fell on him and he said, 'Wow, God does have brain. If the pumpkin had fallen on my head I would have finished!'

So here is somebody who for a minute thought that God has no brain, and a minute later realized that God is very intelligent.

Similarly with mangoes; just before a mango becomes ripe and juicy it snaps and falls on the floor. Suppose it becomes ripe and juicy and then falls then nobody can enjoy its juice. But it falls at a right time so that you can pick it up and enjoy the juice. Nature has tremendous intelligence.

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