Memorial Lecture given by Art of Living Founder His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at S. M. Medical college, Jodhpur ( 23 February 2005).
I know you all are waiting to hear me, while there are others who are simply waiting to see me, doesn't matter what I talk. Should I speak in Hindi or English? Some want in Hindi and others in English. I will speak in both and whenever I am speaking in the language other than that of your choice, just listen as if you are listening to some music, otherwise you will start feeling restless!
Listening is also an art – there is an art of listening. Are you all listening? It can be any speaker who may speak for ten minutes but we actually hear for about three minutes; this is a statistical figure! The remaining seven minutes, the body remains there but the mind goes out gallivanting and comes back after roaming for sometime. So if one speaks for thirty minutes say, then, in actual effect, you hear for about 9-10 minutes. That's why I said, whatever language I speak, if you do not understand, just hear it like a music otherwise restlessness starts building in the mind, right?
You always complain if someone speaks in the language you don't know. When you sit and gossip for 2-3 hours, you don't know how the time flies but when you are sitting and someone is speaking for a couple of minutes in a foreign language you don't know, even those couple of minutes seem to be very long, hasn't it been our experience? Whenever your mind is engaged, you do not feel the time but when the mind is not engaged, you feel the time is too long, correct? Study of time is both Spirituality and Science. Time is the junction.
Are you all here? What is happening now? Waiting- waiting for a phone call, waiting for someone to come, waiting for something. But you know what's interesting is that we don't know what waiting itself is! If you can experience the pure waiting- that becomes meditation. Suppose I am not going to speak for next 20-25 minutes, are you willing to be here? Yes! Waiting for infinity is meditation and if we don't understand what waiting is, we tend towards frustration.
See, waiting is the junction that either leads you to frustration on one side or, on another side, takes you to a meditative state. If you are a meditator then you know what dhyaan (meditation) is, then nothing can frustrate you because every moment that you are free and have to wait for something, you drop into meditation!
We become carefree when we realize that waiting can lead to either meditation or frustration. You can be free from frustration if you meditate and be happy and joyful. Many moments come in our lives, when we have to wait and with this waiting we are filled with frustration, anger, restlessness – all kinds of disorders of mind. So to become free from all such disorders it is very essential to know about meditation.
“What is this?”- is Science ; ” Who am I?”- is Spirituality. It is only in India, in this country, that no conflict ever happened between Science and Spirituality. It is only in India that from ages the science and spirituality said the Earth and other planets are
moving round the Sun. We also teach our students but unfortunately in a wrong way. We teach today in our schools that Galileo discovered that the earth is round. We don't remember that it is India which has given the concept of earth being spherical ‘khagoal' (kha means Earth and goal means round), ‘bhoogoal' (geography- the study of earth ) etc. The earth was always considered spherical. In the 7- 8th century sculptures you see the Varah Murti carrying a globe on their tusks. That means our ancestors, the people in India in ancient days knew that the earth was spherical.
From the times of Vedic age itself, our ancient people knew the placing of the sun and the planets. In today's time too we worship the same way by placing the sun in the center and all planets around it. Long ago, from ancient times, we knew that the sun was the center of our solar system yet we teach wrong and give credit to Galileo for discovering it! We need to change such history now. Similarly the value of Pi and its formula were known long ago. They were well advanced in mathematics. All geometry, trigonometry etc was given in verses with not just formulas but also with detail and diagrams. So we were never ignorant but very advanced in Science from ancient time but unfortunately what is being taught is that our ancestors were ignorant and foolish. It is heard that a professor of History, in Delhi University, is teaching the children that the ancient man burnt incense to scare the God saying- “See the incense in my hand, fulfill my wish or I will burn you down.” And if that was not sufficient to scare then he went with the lamp etc. According to his teaching the ancient man knew nothing else but to scare for fulfilling his wishes and because of such foolish ideas only he began doing worship! If we teach such things to the children then these children will become naxalites in future. It is the lack of spirituality in education in our country, that the youth are becoming naxalites. On one hand they commit suicide or on other hand they become violent and aggressive.
What is spiritualism? To understand this, ponder over this “Who am I? What am I made up of?” This body is made of food we eat etc but then consciousness, the spirit within it is made up of what? What are its ingredients?- to know this all is spiritualism. Our ancestors have given the beautiful explanations of it. Asti, Bhati, Preeti , Naam and Roop – these are the five ingredients/elements or aspects of self. Asti, Bhati, Priti- are the three forms of our consciousness, our mind. Asti meaning “I am”, bhati is realizing that it is and preeti , the love with which it is made of “these are the three forms with which our consciousness is made of. If all the lights were put off in this room, even then you feel your presence, don't you still feel , I am here? – this feeling of I am is – asti.
Are you all listening? Still here? The mind has not gone out for a tea break na? Yes! So ,when you say you are listening to me you, you realize your presence that is bhati. And your nature is love- that is preeti. So these are the three aspects of our consciousness. And the body or matter has two aspects – naam or name and roop or the form. Every thing has a name and a form. With a form or property and a name different things exist in the world.
Science examines or studies on name and shape, while Spirituality on asti, bhati and preeti. What is this? – is Science ; Who am I?- is Spirituality. Can there be any conflict between the two? Never! Both are the two ends of the same thread of knowledge. People may say that spiritualism begins where science ends but I do not agree with that. Science and Spiritualism are not separate, they go together, they are always in oneness. And there can be no dispute after the theory of relativity which proved about matter and energy.
And what is happening now? As I am speaking you are also thinking in your mind – “Yes, yes, he is speaking right, or, No, no, how can that be right.. like that Yes, yes.., No, no” going on in the mind, isn't it? That faculty by which you perceive is Mind and that by which you agree/accept or disagree is Intellect. And the study of this inner, internal layers of consciousness is Spirituality.
Sri Krishna also said in Geeta – Gyaan vigyaan pratyaatma. One gains the Complete knowledge only if gets the knowledge of both science and spirituality. From our four Darshan shastras – the first three are of science only! Vaisheshik Darshan says – padartha gyaanatva mokshah. Sage Vaisheshik said that knowledge of one element contains the full knowledge of all other elements, knowing which you can attain pure bliss. If you understand and have full knowledge of one atom, you are liberated. Even if you don't believe in God but understand even one atom thoroughly, it gives you liberation- this is what the ancient scriptures have said.
How to achieve it? Put your attention to know one thing fully. Understand an atom. What is your body? – a heap of atoms. When all atoms embraced and combine with each other- a body is formed and when they become at daggers with each other and separate with each other- the body disintegrates and death takes place. This body is made up of so many atoms. What is an atom? What is the function of an atom? “So who am I? Am I the body? What is this body? Do you know this body is not solid but fluid like a river? 98% of our body is empty- space element. If you observe a small piece of your skin under the microscope, it looks like a mosquito net- so porous and full of holes! Likewise take any metal, it has lot of empty space also. And out of remaining 2% – 60% is water element and 15% air element in the body. You are like a water or a juice sachet! After you drink juice, how does the packet looks- pressed and bad similarly if all the water is removed from your body, you will become depressed! And if air is removed then, as the fish perishes if removed from water, you will perish too! We don't know fully about our body itself. So it is good to have full knowledge like this first. If you know about your own body, the mind becomes still and liberation happens. So where is the conflict? Science is a logical, sequential understanding of the reality and spirituality goes one step ahead from the aspects you know. You will see there are many types of logic – Whether the means of understanding itself is correct or not? The correct aspect is there or not? The subjective analysis- the aspect from which you learn, by which you know, whether your apparatus or analysis itself is correct or not- and this is spirituality. So unless you take both approaches, your knowledge will not be complete.
Belongingness is the sign of spiritualism. In today's life, man has become rigid like a stone living in a small world of his own. We convey more through our presence than through our words. We live whole of our life in a formal atmosphere and lose the naturalness and belongingness. One can have a simple, lovable nature or personality through spirituality only.
Truth is multidimensional. This is a gift given to the world by India. Knowledge or Truth is not linear but spherical. Isliye virodhaatmak batein sath sath hoti hein. That's why controversial things co-exist – and that's what we teach in the Art of Living course – that opposite values are complementary. Unless you take both approaches, knowledge will be incomplete. Any life devoid of Spiritualism is dry and lack of knowledge makes one sad, and sorrowful.
Some question/ answers
Q- What is God?
A-Bhoomi jaise sahansheel, Agni jaise prajvalit, vayu jeise halkaa, paani jeise vinamra aur nubh jeise sarva vyaapak- jismein yuh sub tutva hein , vuh bhagvaan hei. Patience like the Earth, Glow of the Fire, light like the Air, humble like the water(which flows downward) and present every where like space- the one having all these elements is God!
Q- How to realise faithfulness?
A- The same way you feel the pain. When there is a pain, you just know it!
Q- Guru se bada kaun? Who is above Guru?
A – Guru ka matlub hee hei – bahut bada toe jaan jao khud hee! Guru means Great so you know the answer yourself