Another evening with Guruji in Hartford, another QnA session full of insight and wit from Guruji. And for those friends of mine who wanted to be here but aren’t, I distinctly got the “wish you were here” feeling today. Read below for what you missed, it’s long-ish and covers a gamut of topics. 🙂
Q: Guruji, do you have a role model? If so, who is it, and why?
A: The best role model is every baby on planet earth.
Q: Whenever I meet you, I am confused; should I bow down, hug you, or look at you? There are so many people around you, I wonder what to do.
A: Sometimes it is good to keep wondering. The choice is yours, blessing is mine.
Q: Guruji, there is a feeling of insecurity that has bothered me all my life, in many aspects including my career and my spiritual path. How to grow out of this insecurity and fully blossom?
A: Just wake up and look around. So many beautiful people are around you. How can you feel insecure? Do you think any one of them will not help you in time of need? You have created a bubble and are living in it. The world is full of good people. Wrongdoers are very few. Wake up to this reality. Have faith in the goodness of people. Someone will definitely help. This is the first point.
The second point is that you will not have to face a problem you cannot solve. There is a saying in Tamil, that nature gives each animal a tail just as big as it can handle. Imagine if a cat were to have the tail of an elephant! All problems are tails. Have the confidence that you will be able to solve them.
Third, who said you are not good? I’m telling you, you are excellent. Stop judging yourself.
Fourth, have confidence in the big mind, the higher self. The power of God will help you. Where is your insecurity then? Drop it right now and be free.
Q: Some people want everything to be logical; they have no faith. How to explain to them?
A: Just smile at them. You know, the kind of enigmatic smile that says, hey I know more than you. (Laughter)
Q: Guruji, you keep saying that the choice is ours, blessing is yours. How do we know that we made the right choice?
A: So you want the blessing to make good choices? Done! (Laughter)
Q: Dearest Guruji, why do you recommend not to eat non-vegetarian food? Is it not suitable for the spiritual lifestyle?
A: You can research it yourself. There is a lot of information available online. There are many spiritual reasons for vegetarianism, environmental reasons, cost reasons, physiological benefits, many more.
Q: Dear Guruji, you have said that dispassion is the second pillar of enlightenment. Is it okay to have ambition but not be feverish? I find it hard to let go of my ambition. How can I do that?
A: When you know that you can achieve your ambitions easily, then you get centered, you are in dispassion. Only when you have a doubt, then fever grips you.
Q: All my life I dreamed of finding a passion and pursuing it. Now you are telling me to be dispassionate. Please help.
A: In life we need a balance between passion and dispassion. When you are planning, discussing, and deciding, be centered and dispassionate. When you are working, go all out. Sometimes we do the opposite. If we are passionate while thinking, we lose clarity. If we are dispassionate while working, there is no drive or motivation.
Q: Dear Guruji, you have told us to drop all our problems here. It feels irresponsible for me to do so. Am I not increasing your burden?
A: Don’t worry, be happy. If you are unhappy, that is a burden to me. If you have any problems or worries, drop them here. By doing so you have reduced your unhappiness by so much. If everyone does so, we will have achieved what we set out to do!
Q: Why is a living master so rare? Does nature prefer the majority of mankind to live in darkness and suffering?
A: No, not at all. There are lots of vacancies waiting for you to fill!
Q: I long for a personal and intimate relationship with you. However you are a world guru. How do I make you my best friend?
A: We always talk only one-on-one. I never talk to a crowd. See, only one sun or moon comes into every window. But into every window it comes in full, doesn’t it? It is possible. You can be friendly with everybody in the world. Nature has given this ability to all.
Q: Guruji, I want to highlight the difference between knowledge and culture. A lot of the culture showcased here is Indian, including food, clothing, songs, etc. Isn’t there room for all the beauty of different cultures?
A: Yes there is, and I’m absolutely for it. We are a multi-cultural and multi-religious organization. Dress however you like. We can sing different songs too. On Sunday for Guru Poornima, we are going to have songs in different languages, including Portuguese and Spanish. It also depends on the particular occasion we are celebrating. Guru Poornima has an Indian touch. In Europe we celebrate Christmas every year. We have a Christmas tree, carols, etc. It’s a different flavor. It’s good to enjoy all the flavors, isn’t it?
Q: You said last night that scientists are the rishis of the modern world, but scientists are also causing disaster after disaster. Are they still considered rishis?
A: Not every scientist is causing disasters. That is a prejudice I cannot accept. Some scientific work is being used for destructive purposes. At their core, scientists are still rishis.
Q: How can I overcome guilt? For me guilt is worse than anger, sadness, etc.
A: This problem is more common in the west. So much guilt has been put into people right from childhood. Do Sudarshan Kriya and you will be able to get over it. If you still feel guilty, you can listen to Ashtavakra Gita and chant Om Namah Shivaya. This chant is very powerful; it cleanses the whole nervous system and brings about a new consciousness.
The past is over. Who commits wrong? Only those who are ignorant, miserable, hurt, or have no vision in life. At some point in the past you had less knowledge, so wrongs happened through you. As soon as you are in knowledge, you are a different person. The person who made the mistake is not there at all. In the present moment, everyone is innocent. Believe in your own innocence. You are pure in spirit. However the past has been, the present spirit is untouched by past happenings. Two Art of Silence courses will uplift you. How many of you feel free already on the second day of this program? (Many hands went up.)
Q: Where is the adventure in dispassion? The thrill in centeredness?
A: If you enjoy adventure and thrill, just go for it. Dispassion and dynamism are just two sides of the same coin. Dispassion in the mind and dynamism in action go together.
Q: Hi Guruji. In an intimate relationship between two people who meditate every day, does compatibility matter?
A: You are right, meditation with a little wisdom can do the job. You know, a woman should never cross the ego of a man. The whole world may say he is foolish, but the spouse should say he is intelligent. What does the world know? You have the greatest brain… just because you don’t use it, they can’t say you don’t have it! (Laughter) And for men, never cross the emotions of a woman. She may complain about her brother or mother or father. Just keep quiet. If you say a word, you will be in trouble. She will switch parties in no time! (Laughter) Watch that you don’t step on her emotions. If she wants to go on a spiritual retreat, don’t say no. If she wants to go shopping, just give her your credit card! (More laughter) Then there will be peace at home.
For both men and women, never ask or demand proof of love. Burden of having to prove love is sufficient to destroy love. When you feel that the love is a little less, just ask, “Why do you love me so much? I don’t deserve it!” Then you will see that the feeling will rise.
Q: Do you get tired of people chasing you and asking you the same questions over and over again?
A: Do I look tired? Of course not!
Q: Please give us your honest opinion — how to get a smile like yours?
A: The Art of Living Course! The purpose of knowledge is to give you back your smile, not just on your face but also in your soul. Got it? Your inside smiles. Contentment, smiling with ease… that’s what comes. You are at ease with the ups and downs of life. Pleasant and unpleasant things will still keep happening around you. Wisdom is that which enables you to see beyond such events.
Behind every event there is knowledge. Behind every person there is love. Don’t get stuck in words and behavior of people. See beyond their mind, everyone is a lamp of love. And in every moment there is infinity. Every atom has infinite space. Realizing that is meditation. This moment is timeless.