Source: Art of Living

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Three Kinds of Devotees
The first kind is a devotee who keeps asking, ‘God give me this’, ‘God give me that.’ The second kind is a devotee who is always grateful, ‘Thank you God, you gave me this and you gave me that’; a devotee who is emotional, prayerful and keeps crying out of gratitude. The third kind is a devotee who always remains joyful, keeps smiling, dancing and singing; a joyful devotee. All three are different kinds of devotees, and yet all three are supreme. It is not that one is greater than another – that is not so. So there is, a crying devotee, a laughing devotee, and a devotee who keeps asking – which category are you in, you can see that for yourself. It is possible that a little of all three may be there in you. That also is okay. Then that would be the fourth kind of devotee – one who has a little bit of all the three present. Now, one who gets lost in fun only, somewhere or the other, he is not able to attain depth, and depth is also needed. That is why saint Kabirdas has said, ‘Kabira hasana door kar, rone se kar preet, bin roye kit paaiye, prem piyara meet.’ The crying which Kabirdas is talking about is a different kind of crying. It is the crying that comes out of praise, out of gratitude and longing. It is not the kind of crying where one feels that this is lacking, that is lacking, this did not happen, that did not happen. He is not referring to that type of crying which is for the worldly matters or maya. He is referring to those who cry out of bliss and devotion. So that is also needed. But the devotees who are joyful are said to be the knowledgeable ones, because they know that God is right here – he is within me, and he is present this very moment. Often people think that God is elsewhere; he existed sometime in the past, or will come sometime in the future. They forget that God is right here, right now, present within everyone, present within me – this conviction should be there. It is for this only that you are doing all these gymnastics, all these exercises. Otherwise what is the point of doing these exercises all day – doing pranayama, asana, kirtan, bhajan, seva – what is the essence of all these? To know that God is inside me, right here and right now. This much for today! Listening to too much knowledge will cause indigestion. It becomes difficult to digest. Just digest this much, today Gurudev spoke only one line – ‘God is right here, right now, within me and within everyone.’

Source: Art of Living

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Devotee Becomes God
When a river meets the ocean, the river no longer remains a river. It becomes the ocean. A drop of the ocean is part of the ocean. In the same way, the moment a devotee meets (surrenders to) the Divine, the devotee becomes GOD. When the river meets the ocean, it recognizes that it is the ocean from the beginning to the end. Similarly, the individual "IU IU" dissolves in ONE Divinity. Question: What about backwaters? Sri Sri: Sometimes the ocean goes into the river to greet it. Sometimes it seems that the ocean is pushing back the river. Similarly, the Divine puts many questions and doubts in the mind or gives an amazing experience to bring one back home.

Steeped in Mystery Is Devotion
One who is not amazed by the magnificence of this Creation, his eyes are not yet opened. Once your eyes are open, they close and this is called meditation. (Laughter) Tell me, what in this Creation? Is not a mystery? Birth is a mystery; death is a mystery. If both birth and death are mysterious, then life is certainly a greater mystery. Isn't it? Being completely immersed in the mystery of Life and this Creation is Samadhi. Your knowing or believing doesn't really matter to what Is. This Creation is an unfathomable secret, and its mysteries only deepen. Getting steeped in mystery is Devotion. The "Scene" is a mystery; the "Seer" is a mystery. Deepening the mystery of Creation is science. Deepening the mystery of the Self is spirituality. They are the two sides of the same coin. If neither Science nor Spirituality can create wonder and devotion in you, then you are in deep slumber.

Intentions keep the tension in. Being hollow and empty means dropping all intentions. Within tension, rest does not become deep. Devotion dissolves intentions. Intention pushes you to the future. Bliss is always present. The one who wakes up to this truth is wise. In a state of bliss, once in a while, if an intention comes up, it manifests effortlessly. The more intentions you have, the more in tension you will be. To minimize your intentions could be your last intention.

Source: Art of Living

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Intensify your longing
Attainment Of The Divine Depends On The Intensity Of Longing And Not On The Time And Qualification. There is a proverb among the villagers in India, which says that it may take some time to pluck a flower but it takes no time to meet the Divine ! Abilities, qualifications are not the criteria. It is simply the intensity of your longing. Intensify your longing for the Divine right away. This you can do when you know that you want nothing and you are nothing. Suneeta: If we are nothing and we want nothing, how can longing come? Sidappa: Knowing you are nothing and you want nothing brings belongingness: ....and belongingness intensifies longing. Bill: What is the difference between desire and longing? Sri Sri: Desire is the fever of the head. Longing is the cry of the heart.

The heat of knowledge
For your prayer to be answered, the desire has to be intense. The greater the intensity of desire and the later it gets fulfilled, then greater will be the gratitude. lntense desire leads you to devotion. For desire to get intense, time and the need for the desire are required. The feeling of gratitude is so overwhelming after the fulfillment of desire that it's achievement loses its charm and significance. The son of a farmer in India had a life-long desire to go to England and he prayed deeply for it. Even the news of his trip to England materializing filled him with immense gratitude -- he did not even care whether he went or not. Often people think that they are unfortunate if their desires don't get fulfilled quickly. lntense desire can frustrate you or make you prayerful. In prayerfulness, there is gratitude and devotion. Any intense experience makes you whole. Your consciousness is like corn. With the heat of Knowledge, consciousness pops ups and becomes white and fluffy.

Source: Art of Living

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Doubt And Closeness
Doubt cannot come where there is a sense of closeness. Doubt needs a distance to appear. You never doubt something that is dear to you, close to you. The moment you doubt, it is no longer dear to you; a distance has come. You may doubt yourself, but you do not doubt that which is yours. Self-doubt is a lack of closeness to oneself, a sense of belongingness, closeness, initmacy are all the antidotes for doubt.

A doubt is a gray area. Gray is something which is neither white nor black. Now, how to solve the doubt? An event, knowledge, convention cannot help. Then what can help? Accepting it either as black or white. Put it either as black and accept it or as white and accept it -- whether or not it is black or white. And see the gray as a shade of black or white. Either way you accept it. Honest or dishonest -- accept it. Then the mind is quiet. You are not in the gray area. See, the eyes are dark, eyebrows are dark, and the thymus -- the most powerful organ of the body -- is black. Haemoglobin -- the main force of the body -- is black. You cannot survive without black. It is part of you.Or see it as white. Eye is also white. Bones are white; the structure on which the whole body stands is white. Put your doubt in a category of black -- no problem -- accept. Put it in a category of white -- no problem -- doubt is not there. Have conviction, "I accept. They are dishonest and still part of me. That's it. Finished.

Source: Art of Living

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Balance and discipline
People who are free, regret that they don't have discipline. They keep promising that they will become disciplined. People who are disciplined look for the end. (Discipline is not an end in itself, it is a means.) Look at the people who have no discipline; they are miserable. Freedom without discipline is absolute misery. Discipline without freedom is suffocating. Orderliness is monotonous and chaos is stressful. We have to make the discipline free and the freedom disciplined. People who are in company all the time, they look for the comforts of solitude. People who are in solitude, feel so lonely and want to be in company. People who are in a cold place want to be in a warm place. People who are in a warm place love something cool. This is the dilemma of life: Everyone is looking for perfect balance. Perfect balance is like a razor's edge. It can only be found in the self. There is no road to this town and there are no steps to this house. How do you get in? Figure it all out. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Freedom And Discipline
Freedom and discipline are opposites and complementary. The purpose of defense is to protect freedom. But is there freedom in defense? Do soldiers have freedom? No, they are totally bound, not even allowed to put the right foot down when told the left foot. Their steps are measured and they are unable even to walk with a natural rhythm. There is total lack of freedom in defense. That which has absolutely no freedom is protecting the freedom of the country! So it is with the police; they protect the freedom of the individual. But are they free? Discipline protects freedom. They both go hand in hand. Understand this and go ahead in life. You have some restrictions and it is this that allows you freedom. You can choose to focus either on freedom or discipline, and this makes you happy or unhappy. Freedom without discipline is like a country without a defense.

Source: Art of Living

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Fences should be fences; a fence cannot be built all over the property. If your fence is all over, how can you build on the property? That state of high absolute freedom is too difficult; we need to be very practical. Yes, there is a state of unlimited bliss, the freedom Advaita talks about. The Advaita Knowledge has been totally misused or used according to one's own fancies and conveniences. There must be awareness in the mind, love in the heart, and righteousness in action. Love and fear are two possibilities that put you on track. The Jewish religion put fear as the main thing so that life could improve. Nature induces fear at a certain age in a child. When a child is very young, it gets 100 percent time and love of the mother. The child has no fear. As the child grows more independent it becomes cautious. Nature brings in an iota of fear. With freedom, the child starts walking carefully. Fear of losing freedom also brings defense. The purpose of defense is to eliminate fear. On this path Knowledge is your Freedom and also your Defense.

Initiation is called "Diksha". In Sanskrit "Di" means intellect. "Ksha" means the horizon r the end. "Diksha" means transcending the intellect. Education is called "Shiksha", the horizon of discipline - total discipline. Discipline is needed for education. "Diksha" is needed for meditation. A Teacher gives "Shiksha". A Guru gives "Diksha". A Guru takes you beyond intellect to the Realm of Being. It is a journey from the Head to the Heart. Blossoming beyond the intellect is "Diksha". If you do not go beyond the intellect, you will not smile, you will not laugh. Once "Diksha" happens, you are happy, blissful and contented; and thirst for knowledge is quenched. Totality of Discipline is "Shiksha"; Totality of Intelligence is "Diksha"

Devotee Becomes God
When a river meets the ocean, the river no longer remains a river. It becomes the ocean. A drop of the ocean is part of the ocean. In the same way, the moment a devotee meets (surrenders to) the Divine, the devotee becomes GOD. When the river meets the ocean, it recognizes that it is the ocean from the beginning to the end. Similarly, the individual "IU IU" dissolves in ONE Divinity. Question: What about backwaters? Sri Sri: Sometimes the ocean goes into the river to greet it. Sometimes it seems that the ocean is pushing back the river. Similarly, the Divine puts many questions and doubts in the mind or gives an amazing experience to bring one back home.
Source: Art of Living Page 7

Divine in the Form and Formless
Divinity is unmanifest, but man has an innate desire to perceive the divine in the manifest creation around him. He creates idols, breathes faith into it and requests divinity to be present in that idol for a while, so that he can worship, express his love and play with it. At the end of his worship he requests divinity to go back into his heart from where divinity manifested. This is in all puja practices. They are not actually worshipping the idols but worshipping the unmanifest divinity which has all the divine qualities. So, the idol worshippers of the East are not the same as the ones in the Middle East as described in the Bible, because they are not just worshipping different gods and different idols, they are worshipping the ONE divinity in many different forms. Paganism, Satan and animal worship, without the knowledge of the one divinity is very different from seeing the divine in every form of the manifest universe. In the eastern tradition, gods and goddesses are part of the one divinity like the different colors of white sunlight, whereas in the Greek tradition, gods and goddesses are in themselves different entities. Worshipping Satan and different entities is totally different from worshipping divinity in its various forms. Every form belongs to the divine. When you adore the form, you are adoring the divine behind the form. With this knowledge, the very act of worship, which is more an inner phenomenon, assumes a more colorful and vibrant expression, indicating that both the form and the formless are all divine.

            

Let the wind that blows be sweet Let the oceans flow honey Let all the herbs and plant kingdom be favourable to us Let the nights be sweet and let the days be sweet Let the dust of this planet be sweet to us Let the heavens and our forefathers be sweet to us Let all the trees be laden with honey Let the Sun be sweet to us (Let all the radiations be favourable to us) Let all the animals be sweet to us Let our food be favourable to us Let all our thoughts and our speech be sweet like honey Let our life be pure and divine, Let it be sweet like honey.

Nimit - instrument of the divine
Source: Art of Living Page 8

When you are neither clear nor confused, only then can you be a perfect instrument of the Divine! How would an instrument know what is going to be, and when? How can an instrument be confused, and how can an instrument be clear! This state is called Nimit - just being an instrument of the Divine. Being very clear means not opening to new possibilities and can lead to limitations. Unlimited possibilities are open to one who is not clear and not confused. Your mind swings from clarity to confusion and confusion to clarity but the state in which there is no doership nor inertia is the most creative and progressive state. Sharmila: Will this not lead to lethargy? Sri Sri: No. A sharp instrument does its job perfectly, effortlessly. Sharmila: What about focus? Sri Sri: Focus is natural to a dynamic consciousness. Confusion arises when new information flows in and clarity is lost. Then confusion again seeks clarity. Clarity constricts the possibility of new information. A confused consciousness seeks clarity and every confusion is breaking away from clarity. If there is only confusion, there is frustration. If there is only clarity, there is rigidity. After giving contradictory knowledge, Krishna tells Arjuna, "Just be Nimit!" And to be an instrument, the prerequisite is to be madly in love! That's why in love there is neither confusion nor clarity; or there is both - confusion and clarity! Nazreen: Is truth more important than love? Sri Sri: I'm confused! Is it clear? (laughter)

Love! The Question Of An Answer
In a congregation, Sri Sri asked, " How many of you are feeling strong?" Many people raised their hands. Sri Sri : "Why?" Because YOU are with us!!! Sri Sri : "Only those who feel weak can surrender". All those who were feeling strong were taken aback!

Source: Art of Living

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If you are in love, you feel weak because love makes you weak. Yet there is no power stronger than love. Love is strength. (All those who had raised their hands for strong suddenly felt weak!). Yet love is the greatest power on earth. You feel absolutely powerful when you are with the Divine. Someone asked: "But why do we keep alternating between the two?" Sri Sri: "That is the fluctuation in life."

Wise Are The One Who Make You Cry For The Divine
Unfortunate are those who cry for the world. Fortunate are those who cry for the Divine. Unwise are those who make you cry for the world. Wise are those who make you cry for the Divine. The source of conflict is the division of "mine" and "yours." Knowledge eases the sense of limited belongingness and resolves this conflict. It is amazing when knowledge dawns in you that there is no stranger in the whole world! At the same time, the nearest one remains unknown to you. Shirish Suchak: Why do our nearest ones often remain strangers? Sri Sri: Because no one can understand anyone totally. Life is a mystery! Marcy: But Guruji, you understand us totally! (laughter) Sri Sri: Wake up and see. All these distinctions Ö "me, mine, others" Ö simply dissolve.

Homage To Amma
Guruji's mother, our beloved AMMA, left her physical body in a peaceful and meditative state at 1p.m. on Nov. 9th, 1999, in Bangalore, just as Guruji set foot in the holy city of Varanasi, precisely as HE had predicted a few days ago. For those present around GURUJI, it was an amazing experience to feel the depth of love and not an iota of grief ! It was a celebration of knowledge, never before experienced! Even as the news came, Guruji kept meeting people and addressed the big Satsang with the same smile as always. All her life AMMA served with love, humour and dynamism, extending her motherly love to one and all. She had an unparalleled love for GURUJI and shared a unique relationship with HIM not only as a son but also as a Mentor. Hundreds of people bid a moving farewell to AMMA, singing JAI JAI RADHA RAMAN. AMMA'S mortal ashes were brought to Delhi and GURUJI
Source: Art of Living Page 10

accompanied them to HARDWAR and immersed them in the Holy Ganges there. A portion of her ashes were also immersed in the river Cauvery, on whose banks AMMA grew up. On the 9th of Nov., itself, GURUJI was the chief guest at the consecration of the VISHALAKSHI temple at Varanasi, an invitation that had come two months ago. At this very temple, GURUJI'S grandfather had prayed 70 years ago and was blessed with AMMA. Creation returned to it's source as GURUJI reinstalled the very same ancient deity from whom AMMA got her name, on the very same day that she left for her Heavenly abode. The Art of Living family is greatly indebted to AMMA and seek her blessings. The Memorial Service will be on the 21st of November and all Chapters are requested to have Satsangs that day. Through this event the Art of Living has shown to the world that not only Life, but Death also can be a celebration ! An example inspires and brings confidence in the application of Knowledge. And the visible sign of it is an undying smile. The Self knows neither sorrow nor death. Yet, in it, flow all the relative events. It's easy to be detached when you are not in love. Being in utter love, and yet undisturbed; caring yet not worried; persistent yet not perturbed, are all the obvious signs of the Self shining through !

Death and Spirituality
Death brings you in touch with the reality of life. Death creates a vacuum, a void. Void is the fertile ground for the spirit to manifest. All talents, invention, creativity springs forth from the void, and creation has a tendency to return to the void. Bharat says, "All the problems come when you avoid the void." (Laughter) All the places of worship in all religions are connected with places of burial/cremation, as the awareness of death alone can bring dispassion and make you well grounded in knowledge. According to the Indian mythology, the abode of Shiva is in Mount Kailasa as well as in Smashana (the cremation ground). Kailasa means "where there is only celebration", and Smashana is where there is only void. Thus the Divinity dwells in the void as well as in celebration. And in you there is void, in you there is celebration.

Life is too short life is eternal
The realization that life is very short brings dynamism in your life. Unwanted things will fall off as well as distractions. When you have to be acting or putting out effort, know that life is short. When you are expecting a result, then you are often frustrated. The ignorant person does it the other way: He hurries for the result and is impatient. Impatience goes away when you know that
Source: Art of Living Page 11

life is eternal. When you are looking for a return of a favor from someone or a result from your good deed, you want it quickly. When you realize life is short, procrastination falls away. But when you know that there are many lifetimes, you realize that if you don't get it sooner, you get it later. Wake up and see your life is too short. Time is running so what are you doing with your life? Is it being useful to you and the world around you? Realize life is too short. WAKE UP! LIFE IS ETERNAL! When you want to enjoy the fruit of action know that life is eternal. When it comes to hope, you should know that there are many lifetimes. When you are looking for results, know that time is eternal. If someone doesn't thank you or takes advantage of you, thank them because they will pay you back later with interest. So no one needs to feel sorry that they have been taken advantage of or unappreciated. Know that they will have to be paying you back in the future with interest! When it comes to enjoying the fruit of your actions, good deeds or even blessings, know that life is eternal. Anytime that you are in a hurry, you cannot enjoy. So know that life is eternal.

Source: Art of Living

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