Tag Archive: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

November 21, 2017 | Views: 132

How long should I meditate to get enlightened?

There is no limit. Time will do it. Your job is to keep the window open, but time will bring the sunlight in. You can’t make sunlight come into your home just because you have opened the window. You can’t say, “I opened the window, but the sunlight has not come yet.” If you keep your shutters on, even if the sun has risen, you will remain in darkness. So your effort is needed.

Can married couples also attain enlightenment?

See, the example of Ramakrishna Paramahamsaji. He was married, Sharada Devi was his wife. There are many such examples like this. So even couples can attain enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something that just drops from somewhere. It is present in all of us.

If the purpose of life is to attain liberation, is there any value for all the time we spend on our education, profession and career?

Each one has its own place. You need to do both. To make a living, you need to work, and to grow on the spiritual path, you need to meditate. Both go together, they do not oppose each other.

Often, we think that only when we leave everything will we be able to meditate here, that is not the case. We see many people who have left everything and sit here, but they take up something else to occupy their mind.

It is not necessary that you have to leave everything, and then meditate.
Want More?

If you have taken up some responsibility, fulfill it.

Gurudev, Is enlightenment just a realization?

Yes, that is why it’s called Pratya Bhigya which means Realizing.
See the elephant that is here does not know its power. With great love, he holds your hand with his trunk and pulls you. He doesn’t know that he can break the person’s hand whom he is pulling. For him it’s a play. In the same way, we do not realize our inner potential. We think we are just this body mind complex with a few emotions, some little thoughts, little likes and dislikes. The truth is that we are much beyond these things, and that is why enlightenment is like the peeling of it.

The word enlightenment is used so many times, that is why it is so confusing. Enlightenment is simply the peeling off layers and becoming hollow and empty. Get to that spot where you feel absolute comfort and absolute freedom. That is liberation, that is nirvana, that is self-realization, that is yoga, and that is unity. You can call it by so many names. And too much reading also confuses you about it. That’s why I say be natural, be simple

We are all on the path towards enlightenment. If we do not achieve it this lifetime, do we pick up from where we left off?

Yes, correct.

What is enlightenment? How does a regular person find out if someone is enlightened?

It cannot be said in words, it has to be felt. You cannot describe love. You can’t say that love is endorphins or oxytocin getting produced in your body, it is something that only the heart can know; your existence can feel something different. The funniest thing is that it is in everybody, it is in the original nature of our being and everybody has it, but it has not been uncovered.

Have you seen anyone in The Art of Living get enlightenment?

Yes, there are many who have this experience — they feel something and it starts happening. They have the ability to love everyone and be a nobody.

You don’t have to label yourself that ‘I am enlightened, I am enlightened’, not at all! If you want enlightenment, the first thing you need to remember is total detachment from all that you see, good or bad. Do you still want enlightenment? Are you ready for it? For enlightenment you need to have total detachment because it is your desire which is the only thing that blocks you from enlightenment. The moment you drop all that and say, “I want nothing and I am nothing”, that moment you realize that all the forms and names are nothing, they are all like waves in the ocean; the wave is nothing but the ocean. This conviction is enlightenment. The sea is there, the sun is there, the moon is there and like that I too am here, that is it. Going beyond time is enlightenment. Not being constrained by space is enlightenment. Realizing you are love, everything else is love, that is enlightenment. Being so natural and feeling at home with everyone because there is no other, is enlightenment.

Source: Sri Sri


: We start communicating from the instant we take our first breath…

Our first cry is a communication to our mother, and to the world, that we have arrived. And till our last breath, we are in constant communication.

Yet, good communication is much more than mere words. It is an art and effective communication has dimensions that are larger than what is spoken. The ability to communicate affectionately with one and all is a skill worth possessing.

Be Sensitive and Sensible

We must respect the viewpoints of the person or persons we are communicating with. Communication is the art of being sensitive and sensible at the same time. Some people are too sensitive, thereby losing their sensibleness. Their speech lacks clarity and is inarticulate. And there are people who make perfect sense, but they are insensitive. They say the correct things, but they are not aware of the emotional response of the audience. We need that beautiful combination of sensitivity and sensibleness.

Your state of mind matters!

You cannot improve someone by getting angry at them. You only ruin your peace of mind.

Your communication does not have the impact it ought to have had. Your mental state is heard by your listeners before the words. A calm state of mind, and a smile, will conquer the most difficult of people.

Humor coupled with care and concern

A good sense of humor relieves you from fear and anxiety.
Humor is not just about words- reading and repeating jokes. It is the lightness of your being that brings out the authentic humor. And this lightness comes up with taking life itself not too seriously, having a sense of belongingness with everybody (including those who are not friendly), practicing yoga and meditation, having unshakable faith in the Divine, being in the company of those who live in knowledge and are humorous.

Heart to Heart Communication

Almost all relationships break down due to too much talking and explaining about oneself. “I am this way. Don’t mistake me. Don’t misunderstand me.” If you keep silent when required, everything will work out much better. Don’t explain things of the past, brood over them, or ask for explanations. When the heart speaks and the heart listens, harmony is produced.

Real Communication is beyond Words

All of us have experienced at one time or the other, an amazing phenomenon. Whether in one-to-one communication, or in addressing a huge audience, something intangible moves people more than the words. We try to rationalize by attributing this to charm, charisma, presence, body language, etc.

If you are firmly established in the zone of silence, if your mind is calm, you will find yourself suddenly being able to influence individuals, groups, and masses.

Be a good listener

Listening not just to words, but also to feelings and expressions. Observe infants. They listen to expressions and gestures. Even without understanding words, they communicate with you. Somewhere in the journey of life, we have lost this ability. Let’s make an attempt to regain it.

This world is varied, beyond our imagination. We need to establish communication on three levels – communication with oneself, communication with society, and communication with nature. There is always something to share, learn, and teach.
Source: WISDOM

How to be detached in a relationship? Beautiful perspective on attachments and relationships by Sri Sri

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded The Art of Living as an international, non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization in 1982. Its educational and self-development programs offer powerful tools to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being through powerful breathing techniques such as Sudarshan Kriya and Yoga. Appealing not only to a specific population, these practices have proven effective globally at all levels of society.

What is Yoga?
The secret to health and happiness lies deep within every human. Yoga is the science of discovering one’s own self – the very source of pure consciousness, peace and bliss. Everyone knows that we don’t feel good and we get stressed when there is disharmony in our lives, when our bodies are tired and our busy minds constantly chatter and judge. Through the discipline of Yoga we become more aware of ourselves by doing simple postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation to rejuvenate the body and quite the mind. It is in this manner that we cultivate harmony in ourselves.

What is Meditation?
Settling the surface mind is meditation. Living in the present is meditation. Relaxing deeply is meditation. When you are really happy, reposing in love, you are meditating. Meditation is that space when the thoughts have subsided, and the mind is in complete rest.

What is Sudarshan Kriya?
Sudarshan Kriya incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath which harmonize the body, mind and emotions. This unique breathing technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving you calm yet energized, focused & yet relaxed. It increases energy, improves intuition and makes you innovative. Millions around the world have done this unique practice and have reported better quality of life.

He keeps looking backwards at the road, expecting a little 13 year old girl to come. He happened to meet her on the road and she had told him – “Wait for me. I am going to give this food to my father at the farm, but I will be back in time. Don’t forget, wait for me!”

Finally, the elders of the town said to Gautam Buddha – “For whom are you waiting? Everybody important is present, you can start your discourse.” Buddha replied – “But the person for whom I have come so far is not present yet and I have to wait.”

Finally the girl arrives and exclaims – “I am a little late, but you kept your promise! I knew you would keep your promise because I have been waiting for you since my first memory as a child, when I first became aware… I think I was four years old when I first heard your name. Your name was enough to ring a bell in my heart. And since then for ten long years…I have been waiting!!!”

Buddha responded – “You have not been waiting in vain. You are the person who has attracted me to this village.”

At the end of his discourse, that little girl was the only one who goes to him and says: “Initiate me. I have waited enough, and now I want to be with you.” Buddha replied “You have to be with me because your town is so far out! I cannot keep coming again and again. The road is long, and I am getting old!”

In that entire town not a single person came up to him be initiated into meditation, other than that little girl.

At night as they were getting ready to sleep, Buddha’s chief disciple Ananda asked Buddha “Master, before you go to sleep I want to ask you one question. Do you feel a certain pull towards a certain space… just like a magnetic pull?”

Buddha replied, “You are right Ananda. That is how I decide my journeys. When I feel someone is thirsty…so thirsty that without me, there is no other way for them… I have to move in that direction.”

Master moves towards the disciple and the disciple also moves towards the master. Sooner or later they are bound to meet. The meeting is not of the body, the meeting is not of the mind. The meeting is of the very soul!

It is like when you bring two lamps close to each other; the lamps remain separate but their flames become one.

Source: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

There are two kinds of mind. One is an open mind. Another is a closed mind…A closed mind is that which says, “This is how it is. I know it. That is it.” It gets hardened. An open mind says, “Oh, maybe, perhaps. I do not know.” Limited knowledge, and the conformity about it, makes a mind very hard.

Whenever you seem to understand a situation and you label it, “I know this is how it is,” that is the beginning of your problem. And always all problems arise from knowing but not from not knowing. If you do not1 know, your mind is open, you say “Oh, maybe, something, perhaps, don’t know.” You wait. You cannot label something when you do not know.

Whenever you think an injustice has been made to you, or whenever you think you are suffering, whenever you think you are a victim, whenever you think something bad has happened to you— all this falls under the category of “I know it. This is how things are.”

Whenever we attach a label “not good,” it comes from a thorough knowledge.

Suffering is a product of limited knowledge. A question is a sign of limited knowledge. But when there is an amazement— patience, joy, waiting, you are in a state of “I don’t know,” maybe, something, oh what is it?, I don’t know, something you cannot pinpoint— the whole life is a shift from the limited “I know” to all possibilities, to “maybe.”

When your mind is open for all possibilities, an event happens, and there could be many possibilities for that event to be that way, not just in the gross— some other reasons in the subtle also.

Suppose you walked into your room and you find that someone has made a big mess in your room. It has irritated you. You are grinding your teeth. Now you attach that reason, that cause for your anger, to just that person who is there. But there is something more happening, something more happening in the subtle. There has been some angry time and vibrations at that moment there. At that moment something else is in the air. But you could only see that person creating a mess around you. And you attribute all anger to that person. This is what limited knowledge does. Haven’t you experienced this sometime?

As we attach the events to individuals, the emotions to individuals, the cycle continues. You will never be free from that. So there is a step. First, detach that to the space or time. An event and emotion, detach it from the person and the event, to the space and time. This science is called astrology. Astrology is the knowledge of the oneness of the universe.
Source: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

By: Philip Goldberg

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an internationally known spiritual teacher whose Art of Living programs and humanitarian efforts have affected millions of lives. I had the opportunity to interview him during his recent visit to Los Angeles. Here are excerpts from that interview. (The photo was taken on a previous occasion.)

Q: The International Day of Yoga is June 21. Where will you be?

Sri Sri: New York. I’ll be speaking at Lincoln Center. I think it’s very much in the DNA of America to do yoga. It can bring health, sharpness of intellect, creativity, emotional stability and a broad vision, which America has always stood for. The U.S. is a very progressive country, very dynamic, very forward thinking.

Q: What would you like people to know about Yoga?

Sri Sri: Yoga is like a vast ocean. You can just go for a breeze, or you can go with an oil rig and drill for oil … Yoga offers many things to different people at many different levels–whatever they aspire for: union with the cosmic consciousness, or physical health, mental clarity, emotional stability, spiritual ecstasy — all this is part of yoga.

Q: Does it concern you that people think of Yoga only as asana [the familiar physical postures]?

Sri Sri: Not really, because at that moment that’s what they understand. But once they start doing asana they start seeing there is something beyond that. If interest for meditation gets kindled, then they are on the right track. But if it stops at exercise … it’s not bad, but they will not reach the goal.

Q: When people think of the classic eight limbs of Yoga…

Sri Sri: I knew you would ask about that. Unfortunately, people think the eight limbs are eight steps, one after another. You know, when a baby is born it’s not that one limb develops after another. All the limbs develop simultaneously. The eight limbs of Yoga are so interconnected, if you pull one all the others will come along with it.

Q: Some people think you have to master the yamas and niyamas before you can do the others. [The yamas and niyamas — five behaviors to avoid and five to engage — constitute the first two limbs.]

Sri Sri: The limbs are not sequential, they are all together. The practice of the others contributes to the ability to observe the yamas and niyamas. When we teach meditation in prisons, we see that the moment they have a taste of meditation, their whole thought process and behavior pattern changes. They start on the path of non-violence. They become very truthful, and the tendencies to cheat disappear. So the yamas and niyamas start happening in people’s life just when they begin meditation.

Q: How do your Art of Living programs fit into the eight limbs of classical Yoga?

Sri Sri: Yoga would be incomplete if even one limb is absent from it. All the eight limbs coexist. Our program is the same way. We do some asana, and some pranayama-breathing exercises-and meditation that leads to samadhi [the 8th limb; not a practice but a state of consciousness transcending thought].

Q: Dharana and dyana are the sixth and seventh limbs. How do you explain the subtle distinction between the two?

Sri Sri: One leads into the other. Dharana is having the attention on a particular thing, and dyana is how the mind from there dissolves into samadhi.

Q: A lot of people translate dharana as concentration.

Sri Sri: Absolutely not. Concentration is an outcome of meditation. Dharana is attention — not tension; in concentration there is tension [laughs].

Q: Have you run into opposition or resistance in the U.S.?

Sri Sri: In the beginning we had a lot of resistance, and prejudice. But it’s much better now. Yoga is much more accepted. Today, car companies use meditation and yoga postures to sell their products.

: How is the acceptance of India’s spiritual traditions in India itself, as the country modernizes?

Sri Sri: The younger generation is taking to it now. One generation previous was a little skeptical. The media also played a role. Now it’s different. People see the practical benefit.

Q: There is a lot of concern in the press about the protection of religious minorities in India.

Sri Sri: I think the fear is unfounded. Minorities have always been in good favor in India. For centuries they have been protected. The people-to-people connection is very good. There is a certain amount of polarization for sure, but not to the extent that minorities should be afraid of anything.

Q: What about the conversion issue?

Sri Sri: I think conversion should be from head to heart, not from one religion to another religion. I feel people should become more spiritual — rise above the religious differences and come together in the spirit of vasudhaiv kutumbikam: The world is one family.

Source: Huffington Post

Sri Sri Ravishankar: We live most of our life through three states of consciousness: waking, dreaming and sleeping.

How to Meditate Into Higher States of ConsciousnessI
In the waking state of consciousness, we experience the world through the five senses. We seek elevation and joy from these senses. If any one of the senses is missing, the entire dimension of that sense is lost. One who cannot hear is bereft of the whole arena of sound. Similarly, he who cannot see is deprived of all the beautiful sights and colors. So, the sense is more important and much bigger than the object of the sense.

The mind is higher than the senses. The mind is infinite, its desires are many, but the capacity of the senses to enjoy is limited. Greed is wanting more and more of sensory objects. Even though one can only enjoy a limited amount during a lifetime, one wants all the wealth in the world.

Giving too much importance to sensory objects leads to greed; giving too much importance to the senses leads to lust; and giving too much importance to the mind and its desires leads to delusion.

We hold on to the concepts of the mind and want things to happen in a certain way. Thus, the concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that is a part of us. This is not to say that the senses or the mind are bad. But we must learn to discriminate between things and be aware of what is happening at all times; that is when clarity dawns on us. This is the first step toward the higher state of consciousness.

In the waking state, one is constantly engaged in looking, eating, working, etc. The other extreme is the sleeping state where one is completely cut off and dull. The dullness and heaviness linger even after waking. The more one sleeps, the duller one feels since a lot of energy is expended in sleep. Then there is the dreaming state where one is neither asleep nor awake. Here, you neither feel at rest nor are aware of your surroundings.


The higher state of consciousness is somewhere in between the waking, sleeping and dreaming states. Here, we know we “are” but we don’t know “where” we are. This knowledge that I “am,” but I don’t know “where” I am or “what” I am, is called Shiva. This state gives the deepest possible rest that one can experience. And one can achieve this through meditation

Meditation helps in two ways — it prevents stress from entering the system and simultaneously releases accumulated stress. With the assimilation of meditation into daily life, a higher state of consciousness called cosmic consciousness dawns within us. Cosmic consciousness perceives the whole universe as part of oneself. When we perceive the world as a part of us, love flows strongly between the world and us. This love empowers us to overcome the opposing forces and the disturbances in life. Anger and disappointments become fleeting emotions that occur momentarily and then vanish.

A higher state of consciousness will not simply happen one fine morning. The sapling of consciousness is within you — it needs to be nurtured through spiritual practices like meditation. Some coconut trees yield in three years, and some in 10 years. And those that are not nurtured never yield, they simply exist.

Attaining higher states of consciousness does not require any complicated strategy; one just needs to learn the art of letting go. The confluence of knowledge, understanding and practice makes life complete. When you grow into higher states of consciousness, you find that you are no longer thrown off-balance by different situations and disturbances. You become strong yet soft — a delicate and beautiful individual capable of accommodating different values in life without any conditions. As your consciousness opens and the whole system gets physically, mentally and spiritually elevated, your life truly becomes worth living.

Sri Sri Ravishankar is a renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian whose mission of uniting the world into a violence-free global family has inspired millions the world over to broaden their spheres of responsibility and work towards the betterment of the world. An icon of non-violence, he seeks global peace through service and fostering human values.

Encrich your life with Vedic Wisdom at Banglore Ashram.

How to be successful by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – Management Mantras interview with Alok Kejriwal

Watch Sri Sri share his journey with Alok Kejriwal, CEO, Games2Win.

As the founder of the world’s largest volunteer based NGO, Sri Sri’s insights serve as valuable guide to any budding start-up entrepreneur.

These management mantras are worth learning for anyone looking for the secrets to success while managing a start-up.

Sri Sri- Enlightenment

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar speaks on several topics from Enlightenment to Fogriveness vs Compassion during a Public Talk, Chicago, USA

LIVE – Twitter Town Hall with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Streamed live on Feb 23, 2014

Live webcast of Twitter Town Hall with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 23 Feb from 10:30 pm – 11:00 pm IST.

On Sunday, Feb 23, global humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar answered questions from a global audience in a Twitter TownHall. More than 65,000 questions came from 6733 cities across 114 countries. In this two-part series, Sri Sri responds to a variety of questions covering love, religion, war, marriage, parenting and happiness.

Q: When I look around, I see only misery, hate, anger, greed and meaningless violence. How do I know there is a higher power?
A: The tendency of our mind is to magnify misery. If ten compliments are given to you and one insult is given to you, what you usually hold on is the one insult and blow it out of proportion. My dear, I would like to tell you that there are a lot of good things also happening in the society. There is a lot of service. There are a lot of good people around and if you look into the eyes of people, you will feel that there is compassion and love in most people’s hearts and minds. I agree there is hate, anger and greed. This is because we have not been able to educate them in human values.

Q: I am a homosexual and comfortable with it. Some call me a criminal. My family and friends disown me. Does God still love me?
A: God has no choice. God loves everybody on earth. So, don’t worry about it.

Q: Different people have different notions of spirituality. Some think it is escapism, others think it is torturing oneself. What is spirituality for you?

A: All that uplifts human spirit is spirituality. Anything that brings you peace, joy, love, comfort and motivates you to do service in society is spirituality. We are made up of both matter and spirit. Our body is made up of amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins and so on. Our spirit is made up of love, compassion, generosity, intelligence — all these values. So spirituality is not just sitting and doing something. It is something that invokes — that builds character in you.

Q: What is my role in transformation of Ukraine for peace and happiness and against corruption?
A: All that we can do in our capacity, we must do. In fact we should do a little bit more than what we think we can do to bring peace. Corruption is a very serious issue all over the world. I am sure if you create more awareness among people, and if you all unite together — not through violence, not with burning buses, trucks and cars on the streets or throwing stones at people, but through a peaceful, resolute revolution, we are sure to get success. It may take some time. We need patience and perseverance to fight against corruption.

Q: Why are people into conversion? Do they have identity crisis?
A: People leave one religion and go to another religion because they have not studied their own religion properly. This is a problem. They have not understood their faith or the essence of it fully, especially in the Hindu faith because we are simply going on with the rituals that we often don’t understand or study. There are not many opportunities to study the Vedas, and the scriptures on Yoga, or treatises like the Yoga Vasishta. We tend to know very little about our Vedas or Vedic heritage, especially in India. So people tend to convert. I feel that they should first study their own faith in-depth — whichever faith they are born in. And do not denigrate the faith you are born in when you convert. Conversion is your free choice. But do not insult the faith or denigrate the faith.

Q: With such a demanding lifestyle, how can one be a better parent and give quality time to children?
A: You should never doubt your goodness because you can never be a bad parent at all. Just be yourself and if you scold your children sometime, you should know it is necessary. Parents feel so guilty even when they scold their children here and there. So I would say there is no need to do that because you need to make your children strong. It is like a vaccination for them. If your children’s upbringing is so weak that they cannot tolerate an insult or harsh comment from someone, then it means you have not attended to your children. You have not given them the much-needed vaccination, that dose of discipline. Sometimes it is necessary. No parent will be a bad parent if they are relaxed and free of tension and stress. So first of all you have to relieve yourself from your tension and stress, and give quality time to children.

Q: How to get close to and help people we love who are closed down and have built barriers around them?
A: With patience and perseverance. People generally build barriers around them because they are insecure or have some prejudice. Prejudice and insecurity are two important things in society that we need to attend to and this requires that we relieve the stress in the minds of people. This we can do only with patience and perseverance.

Q: What has been the biggest risk you have ever taken in your life Sri Sri?
A: There is not one, I cannot say it is one risk, any challenging thing comes in front of me, I simply jump into it, whether it is going to Iraq for peace building at the time of war, or something else. I like to go on adventures.

Q: Did God create man or man created God?
A: Both. God created man and man created God. Isn’t it funny? Man created different concepts of God, stories about God. But again, what is God. Is He somebody sitting up there who just created something and went away? No. The summum bonum of creation, if you take it that’s the one thing by which everything has happened and in which everything is, may be you can call it God. So according to the Vedanta, it is ‘Asti, Bhati, Preeti’. It is, it shines and it is love, and that’s what the whole world is. Isn’t it? And this could be one of the concepts unless until you start feeling it as an authentic reality in our life, as true as a pain in your feet if you have one.

Q: Sri Sri, is it only time that brings maturity? How does one cultivate it in life?
A: Perception, observation and expression — these three things can bring you maturity. The way you perceive things and observe things all around you. Wisdom doesn’t need time at all. You don’t need to become old to become mature. You simply need observation of not just yourself, but also in the lives of all around you.

Q: With an alarming rise in the number of divorces, is marriage necessary? Doesn’t it add baggage to love’?
A: Marriage is an important institution. Even to ask this question, somebody married and that’s why you are here. Isn’t it? I think you will see that you need some stability in life at some point of time. And marriage is a very sacred institution. We must have that. Growing in marriage is growing in responsibility, taking responsibility. And love and responsibility, they go together.

Q: You say that our nature is love but why is there so much conflict in the world?
A: That is because we have not realized we are Love. When the realization comes, this won’t happen. I usually say war is the worst act of reason. There is some reason then you go in for war. Then you go beyond those reasons and find wars are futile. Nobody wins a war.

Q: You say live in the moment, but you also say have goals. Isn’t it contradictory?

A: Yes, truth is contradictory and multidimensional. You plan for future, but you live in the present moment. Even the planning of future happens in the present only. When you are driving your car, what do you do? You look through the windshield, you also look at the rear mirror and you also look at the side mirror. All three are essential. Isn’t it? If you say, ‘No, I am only going to look ahead and I am not going to look back or to the side mirror’, you are going to get an accident. So while driving a car, the rear mirror is small so you should learn something from your past. From side mirror you should keep looking around also and drive ahead. So all these have to simultaneously happen. So plan for the future but at the same time be in the present moment.

Q: We have received hundreds of questions from Syria, Egypt and Middle East? Do you have any message for them?

A: The violence in the Middle East is a huge humanitarian problem, and my heart pains when I see the amount of injustice and violence that is happening there. Again I would say, that let’s pray for peace, and at the same time continue to explore ways of bringing peace. We should keep thinking about it. We should still keep hope that one day we will all be able to bring some peace there.

Finding inner strength – Secrets of life through an ancient story. Bringing the ancient Bhagavad Gita into today’s life. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shares it’s hidden meaning.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: A humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living.

Sri Sri founded The Art of Living as an international, non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization. Its educational and self-development programs offer powerful tools to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being.

Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Lamps are lit on this day not just to decorate homes, but also to communicate a profound truth about life — when the darkness within is dispelled through the light of wisdom; the good in us wins over the evil.

Diwali, in essence, is celebrated to kindle the light of wisdom in every heart, the light of life in every home, and bring a smile on every face. Diwali is the shortened form of Deepavali, which literally means rows of lamps. Life has many facets and stages to it. It is important that we throw light on all of them, for if one aspect of our life is in darkness, we cannot express life in its totality. The rows of lamps lit on Diwali remind us that every aspect of life needs our attention.

Lighting Good Qualities

Every lamp that we light is symbolic of a good quality. There are good qualities in every human being. Some have forbearance, some have love, strength, generosity; others have the ability to unite people. When all these qualities are lit, awakened, that is Diwali. Don’t be satisfied with lighting one lamp; light a thousand! If you have the value of service in you, don’t be satisfied only with that. Light the lamp of wisdom in yourself and acquire knowledge. Awaken all the facets of your being.

Letting Go

Another profound symbolism of Diwali is in lighting firecrackers. 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 are bound to reach a point where they explode. Bursting crackers is a psychological exercise from ancient times to release bottled-up emotions. When you see an explosion outside, you feel similar sensations within as well. Along with the explosion, there is a lot of light as well. When you let go of these suppressed emotions, the light of knowledge dawns.

Being in the Present

Diwali means to be in the present — dropping the regrets of the past, the worries of the future, and living in the moment. The sweets and exchange of gifts symbolize forgetting the bickering and negativities of the past, and renewal of friendship for the times to come. A true celebration means dissolving all differences. Happiness and wisdom have to spread in society, and that can happen when all come together and celebrate. Even if one member of the family is shrouded in darkness, you cannot be happy. You need to kindle wisdom in every member of your family. Extend it to every member of society, every person on the planet.

Spirit of Service

Any celebration is incomplete without the spirit of service. Whatever we have received from the Divine we should share it with others, for it is in giving that we receive. That is true celebration.

Diwali 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 and every excuse to celebrate is good. For the one who is not in knowledge, Diwali comes only once a year, but for the wise, Diwali is every moment and every day.

For the one who is not in knowledge, Diwali comes only once a year, but for the wise, Diwali is every moment and every day. This Diwali, celebrate with knowledge and take a sankalpa (vow) 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.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar elaborating on the nature of enlightenment.

Streamed live on Jan 26, 2013

Google+ Hangout with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Founder The Art of Living)
To view questions or any of the moment in this G+ Hangout click on the timing shown in next to the details in description of this video.

Welcome To the Event 0:20:00
Voice of Peace Video 0:21:20
Welcoming Sri Sri Ravi Shankar by MC´s 0:23:48
Invocation by Bhanumathi Narasimhan 0:24:01
Words from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 0:27:10
Audience Question India (Bastar) 0:29:08
Audience Question Taiwan 0:30:51
Sandra : Mother of a child in Connecticut (USA) 0:03:14

Deepak Chopra : Spiritual Guru (USA) 0:36:28
Civil Society Australia Audience Question Australia 0:41:13
Arnab Goswami : Tv Anchor (India) 0:42:48
Bothaina Kamel : First woman Presidential Candidate (Egypt) 0:46:22
Sanjay Pradhan : Vice President Word Bank Institute (USA) 0:50:07
Kumara Sangakkara : Cricketer (Sri Lanka) 0:56:05
Elizabeth Fayt : Writer and International Speaker Writer (Canada) 0:58:20
Mia Gundersen : Actress & Singer (Norway) 1:01:32
Dhamma Master (Taiwan) 1:06:48
Deo : Youth Icon & Singer (Bulgaria) 1:10:13
Civil Society Zimbabwe Audience 1:15:53
Jo Leinen : Hon. Member of European Parliament (Germany) 1:17:09
Annika Dopping : Film Maker (Sweden) 1:21:02
Fiorella Migliore : Actress (Paraguay) 1:26:42
Natalie Becker : Actor & Spiritual Film Anchor (South Africa) 1:29:54
Shaggy : Singer (Jamaica) 1:33:38
Juliana Paes : Actrees (Brazil) 1:39:05
Sequoa Trueblood 1:41:25
Blossom Taiton Lindquist : Singer (Sweden) 1:44:50
Strings Band (Pakistan) 1:47:30
Guided Meditation with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 1:49:33
Patricia Sosa : Singer (Argentina) 1:58:19

Slovenia Audience (Slovenia) 2:00:12
Myron Scholes : Nobel Laureate, Economics (USA) 2:03:17
Israel audience (Israel) 2:07:55
Dr. Kiran Bedi : Ex-police officer (India) 2:12:39
Lex Mellink : Former Dir. Of Police (Holland) 2:17:12
RajKumar Hirani : Film Director (India) 2:22:20
Youth Oman Audience Question (Oman) 2:27:05
Alberto Simone : Film Director (Italy) 2:35:12
Germany Audience (Germany) 2:39:35
Sri Sri University Students (India) 2:42:09
Victor : Singer (Russia) 2:43:28
Ahmed Katrada : Political Reformer (South Africa) 2:45:52

Rapid fire Qs from audience 2:51:51
Call to Action by Sri Sri 2:56:00
Bhavini and Jony – Amazing Grace Performers (UK) 2:59:00
Vote of Thanks 3:02:00

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