Thursday, February 7, 2013

The creative impulse- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

20th July 2003
The creative impulse

It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great
thinkers, but what is a thought? Where does it originate? Is there any way that we can improve
the thought process?
Creativity is a hot subject today all over the world. We want to make people very creative.
What are the mechanics to make people creative? Why does someone get a violent thought
and why does someone get a creative thought? How can someone be a genius and
someone not? What does this depend on? Is it the food, is it the exercise or does it depend on
any other avenues or arenas?
But, we can create great thinkers. There is a question in front of us today and research is
happening around the world about the very process of creativity. Great writers and thinkers
have experienced the writer’s block. You would have sometimes experienced that. You sit
with a paper and pen in a beautiful place, waiting for something to come... and many times
they don’t!
What is the source of creativity? Thought is nothing but an impulse of energy and intelligence.
That impulse of energy and intelligence, for it to arise and a correct thought to come, you
need 16 impulses to meet at a point in the cerebral cortex at the speed of 10 to the power of
minus 30 cycles per second. In that short interval of time, all the 16 impulses in the cerebral
cortex, when they meet, is what we call a correct thought. What do we do about it? We need
to train our brain, our mind.
Now, as you are reading this, are you fully with it? Now? 100 percent? No! As you are reading,
you are having a dialogue in your own mind saying, ‘‘yes, I agree’’ or ‘‘no, that cannot be’’.
Are you observing this? We all have a filter in our mind and we listen through this filter and we
accept only that we already know. Something, which doesn’t already fall within our belief
system, we straightaway filter them out. This tendency in the mind to take things which it
already knows and reject that which it doesn’t know, is one of the main blocks of creativity.
The second aspect for creativity is imagination. You will see that every creative person has
some imagination. At that moment you will not think whether that is real or not. What appears
to be unreal and an imagination in that direction brings creativity. If it is only an imagination,
totally disconnected with ground reality then also it falls short of that connection, that
transformation, that unreal becomes real. Thomas Edison, once upon a time, dreamt of how to
create light. It was purely an imagination.
Similarly, the telephone or plane — all these inventions happened through certain imagination
and linking that imagination to the present creativity, present state of ground reality. If you are
thinking only of the ground reality then no creativity will come and if you are only on
imagination, then too there is no creativity. A balance is needed. See, life is also like that — a
balance between our intellect and our heart, or feeling, or intuition. Listening to our gut
feeling, developing that intuitive ability within us is another aspect of creativity.
So, when such blocks come into us, there is a way to eliminate them. How? To study our own
seven layers of our existence. What are they? I call science as a study of ‘‘what is this’’ and
spirituality as a study of ‘‘who am I?’’. They are not at loggerheads at all, they go hand in
hand. So study about yourself, your seven layers of existence. What are they? The body, the
breath — are you all breathing now? See, many times we are not even aware that we are
breathing. That something, which keeps our body alive, we don’t care to look into it. Our
breath has great secrets to offer.
Then comes the mind. Mind is perception, observation and expression. Then is the intellect —
the judgement, the arguments, the agreement or disagreement that happens within us is all
part of our intellect. The memory — if you observe the memory, it stores the memory of
unpleasant things much more than the pleasant. We take the insults and preserve it in our
memory much more than the pleasant events. This is the nature of memory.
Then comes the ego — the more we study, the more learned we become; we become so stiff.
We lose our smile, we lose our innocence, we lose our friendliness. Learned people get a sort
of an ego — that I am much better than the other, more learned, I know better than them —
this ego of ‘‘I know better’’ takes away certain beautiful things from your life.
One should have a sense of belongingness with everybody, naturalness. Ego dampens one’s
personality. Today, what we lack is really good examples of personality. Knowledge is there in
all the libraries — but what the books cannot transmit is the personal charisma, the vibration a
person emits. The friendly and warm atmosphere a person carries along with him/her.
The seventh layer is the self. Self is that something that is the reference point of all changes in
life. We notice that everything is changing in our life — our body, our mind, our thought, our
environment, and our behaviour. If everything is changing then how do we know the change?
Because there is a reference point, something that doesn’t change, we are able to notice the
change. And this reference point, the non-changing something that is in every one of us, I
would call the Self. The scriptures would call it atman.
A little bit of knowledge about these seven layers of existence makes a big, big difference in
our lives. It brings cheer, freshness, and we become so alive and childlike. If you are cheerful,
you will be creative. Otherwise you are so dull. The youth of today don’t want to study more.
Why? Because they see the people who are well read, and have become great achievers in
the field of literacy, science, they don’t see joy in them, they don’t see them as an example,
and they don’t see a warm, friendly environment atmosphere around them. So, I see many
youth turn their face away from going into higher studies. This is the situation all over the world
We need to bring a scientific philosophy in the youth — and practical philosophy, which is not
in the books but shines out in our own personality. In our country what we have really
destroyed is the self-esteem in our people. Village boys and girls have zero self-esteem. This is
because we have constantly, in many ways, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously,
drilled into them the idea that they are no good. Wear a pant, shirt, jeans, modern dress, only
then you are good, otherwise you are no good — you are much less.
This idea we have been bombarding into their life through the media, through various means. I
was telling the director of Doordarshan that we have Hindi newsreaders in a tie and suit —
how does a villager relate to this? They think that only if I dress like this will I get respect. We
don’t have to copy everything. If you see, our news reading is a copy of BBC or CNN.
We need to bring in creative ideas. We should empower our village youth — bring them selfesteem.
Without self-esteem there will be no creativity, without creativity there will be
unemployment. The cause of unemployment in the country today is lack of initiative,
entrepreneurship and all this is based on low self-esteem. So we need to bring self-esteem in
our children.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dushasan, Kichhak, Jayadratha, Duryodhan - VAW

In our society, we have presence of character like Dushasan, Kichhak, Jayadratha, Duryodhan. Theses are the character who were involved in activities which in modern days has been termed as 'Violence Against Women- VAW'. Let me share with you what happened to these four character or the action that was taken against these character. Coincidentally all the four character roam around Draupadi.

Dushasan - Involved in forceful striping of Draupadi sari was killed by Bhimsen during the Mahabharat War.
Duryodhan- Ordered Draupadi to sit on his lap and he was killed by Bhimsen during the Maharbharat War Bhimsen broke his lap and Durodhan died because of the same reason.
Kichhak- Teased Draupadi and forced her to spent night with him during Pandav Gupta Bas. Bhimsen Killed him again.
Jayadratha- Made an attempt to rape Draupadi during Pandav Baan Bas. He was first forgiven by Yudhistir, as he their in-law. However, he was left with bald head except in the five places, so that he would be embarrassed. But at the end he was killed by Arjun during Mahabharat War.

The activities related to VAW were punishable to the extent of killing them.
The basic reason behind our  society producing these character is because of lack of human values and most of all lack of self control over desire.

We now need two strategies to decrease the number of these four character from our society.  Involve people in an activity which helps them to develop human values and respect along with self control. Also we now need character like Bhimsen and Arjun to punish these kind of characters or punishment like such.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Journey toward Individualistic Society

'Society' is the English word given to the sanskrit' word 'SAMAJ'.Our literature defines SAMAJ as;
 Samam anajanti iti samajah, i.e. society is a mechanism in which everyone is inter-related and  inter-dependent. The basis for taking everyone together is mutual relation referred as 'sambandha'. The factor that fosters the interaction between the society and the mutual relation is called 'Yajmani'.

We have a culture which is based on yajmani so that the sambandha is well established and maintained so the samaj remains a strong entity of a country. Example of the yajmani are the various festivals that are observed by our samaj. We always have seen whether it be during plantation (ropai) in the month of asar or harvesting during the month of mangsir, the samaj had a mechanisucem to work in collaboration to help each other. This collaboration used to bring people together but when the people were induced to crave for materialistic thing  and most of all the innovation of 21st century -profit, people became more materialistic and greedy and started emphasizing on the machines and less on collaboration .

This led to shift in focus of samaj from 'yajmani', as a means to establish and maintain relation, to  'sadhan' means or machines, as they reduced the human effort at one part but people were so much attached to it that they were not aware when they have separated from the yajmani and sambandha.

Now the people who were updated with these sadhan, had an advantage so, they started focusing on the profit. Then people realized that if they are alone they don't have to share the portion of the pie with others, which is in their plate. This concept led to gradual change in our social family structure, i.e from joint family system to nuclear family. 

By then, the samaj whose focus was on inter-dependent and inter-relation, sambandha and yajmani was changing to 'means' and profit. The self sustainable society was hit with the another innovation called 'profit', which is in terms of materialistic possession than on relation and values, which we inherited.

The evidence of which can be found today if we look look at our generation then, its not surprise to find each person busy with his/her gadgets then in social interaction.

Means- or the 'sadhan' are created to make life easy by human but we at present are so much obsessed with it that we have almost erase the essence of interaction and basis of human relation and values i.e sambandha and yajmani,

These means definitely have made us profitable in terms of materialistic possession but gifted us loneliness in terms of human core values. The over emphasis on the 'sadhan' which led to 'profit' and then 'greed' helped us a lot to move toward the individualistic society.

And today, we all are alone even in crowd with our gadgets.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Way to krishna - SAURABHI

Krishan name is Govinda and also Gopal... which means cowherd boy and who takes care of cow and is protector. The cows in Krishan's abode are also a liberated soul as a choice they have made. These cows are called SAURABHI meaning you can milk the cow as many times as you want to and as much milk as you want to. We see many picture of lord with cow and here he is symbolizing that if we provide what we can offer as service to the people as much as we can, we can be close to Krishna. The condition is, like saurabhi there should be the determination and willingness to serve other by own capacity without expectation like the saurabhi cow be humble like cow have patience like cow.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


We all know about the Geeta that Lord Krishna shared with  Arjun. But the whole Geets is infact shared between the three people along with Arjun and from different class of the society and on the basis of their karma. One was Arjun himself, whom Lord regarded as good friend and was there to fight on behalf of righteousness. Second person is the Dhritarastra, he didnt have good boons to listen to it but Lord had a plan and he even included Dhritarastra who was not only blind physically but also mentally. So lord thought that Dhristarastra also needs the knowledge so he might change despite of all that happened and not to mention is a king. The third person is Sanjaya, the chariot driver of the King, who is embodiment of simplicity and humbleness and from bottom level of the social pyramid. The same knowledge has been provided to three different people from different class and different karmic activity. It is a clear indication that in the eye of lord everyone is equal.
This is how lord is who never discriminates but loves all and provides opportunity to all.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Karthikeya- Guru Energy and EGO

When all the five elements of nature (earth, fire, air, water, space) combined with pure consciousness then Karthikeya was born. Understand this as Kundalini energy. Out of 7 chakras, the agya chakra is the Karthikeya shakti. Kundalini shakti is ichcha shakti (energy of wishes) and kriya shakti (energy to do action). Karthikeya represents knowledge. 
Karthik was sent to Brahma to learn. So when he went for classes he asked Brahma, 'What is the meaning of Om?'So Brahma said, 'first learn the basics then you learn the rest.'So Karthikeya said, 'If you don't know the highest, what will I learn from you?'
 So he left and went back. So Brahma told Shiva, 'I can't teach your son, he is asking me the highest and I don't even know what is Om. I only know what is AA, as I am only part of the complete Divinity.' Shiva called his son and asked him, 'Do you know the meaning of Om? Even I do not know. And so he said, 'Yes, I know, learn from me and so Shiva said, 'Okay teach me.'
Then Karthukeya said, 'I cannot teach you just like that. You have to give me the stand of the Guru.'So Shiva put him on his shoulder and then Karthick told him, the meaning of Om is love. The entire creation is made of love. Everything is love.So that is why the Guru Tattva has been given the highest seat. Karthik is also called the leader of all the Devatas.Then he killed Tharakasur... which means EGO.
'I know everything, I am the best', all that is Ego. It is called Tharak. Ego is what covers the simplicity, the humbleness in a person. So ego can be subdued only through Knowledge which can be only got through Guru.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Krishna Janmasthami - Talk By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Krishna was never born but we celebrate the birthday- yet he was born, this is the fun! Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva. Vasu means breath, the prana. Devaki means body. Kansa put Devaki and Vasudev in prison. Kansa means the ego. Ego is the brother of Devaki, the body. He put both the pran- vasudeva and Devaki into prison. So the ego imprisoned the body and the pran.  In that pran, what was born, is the bliss - ananda, that is why Krishna is called Nandlala.  Nanda means- ananda- blissful, embodiment of bliss, embodiment of infinity. Within this small body you are able to experience this infinite space.

See Krishna is always depicted in blue colour. You know why in blue colour? It means that the body is transparent as if it was not there. He was not a blue baby, certainly!  Even Shiva is depicted in blue. That doesn’t concern the physical body but inside is infinity. Whatever is infinity is represented by blue: sky is blue, ocean is blue, the great, the big, enormous depth and that bliss, that being- the soul. The soul is never born, but still it is born when the mind and the prana and the body come together. (That is what we are doing when practicing hollow and empty- taking the mind here and there. Suddenly we experience space; there is nothingness – just space inside, pure space. Space has already been there but still you didn’t experience it.)

Krishna was born at 12 o’clock at night- all the watchmen; the guards fell asleep….  This is what is said. When Krishna was born there were many guards in the jail and they all fell asleep.  What are the guards? the eyes , nose, ears, tongue- the five senses are the five guards that keep you out, engaged, so that you don’t  the infinite sky  which is within.  They keep you so busy outside, the five senses, either you look at this, look at that, look here, look there or hear this, hear that, smell this, taste that… you are engaged in the outer world all the time, they are not letting you go- letting you experience your self. So they all fell asleep when Krishna was born and then , though it was born, the body was not capable to hold it  so it has to go it to Yashoda.  The child was taken by Yashoda,  by the prana, to another town that is called Gokul.  Krishna was born in prison but he was carried away in the middle of the night because the joy Kamsa, the ego may kill it. You know it is like someone experiences bliss and that bliss itself can become a trip for the ego, which in turn destroys the infinity, the joy the bliss. So in order to protect him the prana, the breath takes him across the river if love. Yamuna is symbol of love.  So by yoga, by meditation, the infinity is born but yoga alone can’t handle it.  What is needed to nourish it is devotion, is bhakti, and is love.  So love can sustain the bliss and bliss essentially born by uniting our self into that aspect.  So just yoga, just meditation is not sufficient.  Along with that bliss, devotion, love, kirtan is essential. Kirtan is symbol of yamuna, the river.

Vasudeva was carrying the child in a basket on top of his head because all the guards fell asleep and the prana could permeate, could bring out that bliss, that joy into the entire atmosphere.  When he was walking through the river, which he had to cross in order to take the child to another country, it was raining.  At that time India was a small country like Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg.  You just cross one border and it is there.

Vasudeva had to cross this river Yamuna, and when he was crossing it, it was raining and Krishna was just a new born child- the story is very beautiful here – he was carrying the basket on his head and he had to walk through but there was flooding because of rainy season. The Yamuna River was flooding but with great courage he walked and the water came up to his throat, his nose. Vasudeva was about to drown but the child put his leg outside the basket. His leg came outside the basket and the Yamuna river stopped rising. This means when the difficulty comes upto your nose, God’s protection is always there. It cannot go above that because that’s the responsibility of the divine. So the divine puts its leg outside because the Yamuna River was rising up and up and trying to have a touch of this divine child. The moment it touched the river, it receded and Vasudeva could walk through the other shore.

The Kirtan, love rises so high till it has a glimpse of that infinity, a touch of that silence, a touch of bliss. You will see that’s why in music you go high up and then you go down just like the Yamuna River. What is important is not just singing because one can go on singing and singing but a few moments of silence, of depth, of experiencing the bliss of the infinity- is very essential. Many bhajan groups simply sing bhajans very nicely, one after another in competition. They donot stop and just experience that space in-between the bhajans.

Then in middle of the night Yashoda was sleeping and there was another baby girl sleeping with her. Vasudeva went and replaced the baby. He took that girl with him and left Krishna at Yashoda’s house. That is where he grew up. So devotion, bhakti can only make the ananda, bliss grows in us. Yashoda is a symbol of shradha, faith and devotion. So here is the birth of all these qualities in this human body. In Krishna you see the total personality- a multi-dimensional personality from any angel.the full blossoming of human potential is what Krishna is. You can see him sitting silent like Buddha. You can find him in the battlefield, you can find him as a best friend, and you can find him as a very mischievous child, through all angels. It is a total blossoming of personality, of existence.

Krishna himself says in Geeta “people do not know my true nature, nobody knows”. In all his life only three persons knew him. One was Yashoda, that too by accident. Though she was bringing him up, she was beating him up several times. He was unbearably naughty. Once he was eating the mud, Yashoda came and slapped his face and said, “why are you eating mud when I have given you so many things”! He said, “No, I have not eaten mud you can see my mouth”! He opened his mouth and she could see the whole universe. She saw the space inside him, she saw that he is hollow and empty. She saw that he is not just another body but he is infested innocence. In him there were all stars, sun, moon, all that is in the creation- she saw everything, that means she saw nothing. She saw everything and nothing in his mouth.

The second instance is with Arjuna- in the battlefield. In Geeta he gives so many arguments to Arjuna to make him fight and still Arjuna is not ready and krishna says “o.k. you are my dear friend. I am going to show you who really I am. You can’t see with these eyes. You need a special eye- the eye of awareness, the eye of knowledge” you close your eyes, I give you another eye, you see from my eye who I am? And Arjuna was shocked to see. He says “oh I thought you are an ordinary being, I thought you are just like a friend to me, like a good friend, a very respectable and talented friend. I never knew you are infinity, you are everything. He says “ you are the air, you are the wind, you are the sky, I see the entire creation in you” he gets bewildered and says “Oh now excuse me, I might have told you so many things, played with you, fought with you. Please pardon me”.

The third person was Uddhava. At the end of his mortal life Uddhava got to know who Krishna was. Krishna says in Geeta “ People think of me as a physical embodiment. I am not the body, I am the consciousness which is present all over and in everything”. He goes on saying “ I am the sweetness in sugar, I am the light in the moon, I am the heat in the sun” he expresses himself. See, Krishna is having one foot on the ground and the other foot crosses over and is just touching the ground, that is called “threebhungy”. means one foot is firmly on the ground, the other foot as though it is touching the ground but it is not touching, it is elsewhere. Don’t use your mind and energy in worldly things. If you put 100% of your mind in the worldly things, then you get buried in the mud. So Krishna is depicted one foot very firm on the ground but the other foot just as though it is touching up in the air- perfect balance. That is the way to live life- the art of living. How you can make life a fun.

It is said that Krishna was supposed to steal butter. Butter is the final product. The milk is made into curd and curd is churned well and becomes butter. Life is also considered to be like that- life is like milk- life is the process of churning. So many things- events, happenings and instances are churning your life.

Your mind is churned and churned and finally the butter comes, it is the sainthood in you, the saintliness in you. Krishna is stealing the saintliness. This means what? - He loves the saintliness, he loves this mind which is like butter, which is not hard, which has reached its final state. It is cooked well, churned well; it comes as the final butter. He is fond of you when your mind becomes like that. This means the infinity is coming towards you loves you so much that it steals you at any cost. He searches for you. Wherever you are, God comes and searches you. He will search and take you, wherever you are. You only have to become like the butter that’s what he steals the butter. That’s another way to represent.

Then there is Radha, Radha means longing. She was already married to someone. Nobody even knew his name. What does this mean, “was she married?” the longing was for something else before Krishna arrived. People long for a car, long for prestige and long for many things. But when the bliss comes, when God comes into our life- the longing for God is very intense. Radha forgot everything, she left her husband, she forgot her husband, her home and her cooking and other things and she became krishna, she became immersed in Krishna because that longing for the divine, love for the divine was so total that even the divine could not stay without Radha. Krishna says “ I am playing the flute just for you”. Radha is older than Krishna. That’s why some people, some scriptures don’t accept that thing about Radha and Krishna: “What is that Radha and Krishna?” It is very illegal. But the symbol behind it is very different and beautiful.
Longing is older than love because longing gives birth to love. It’s longing which reaches love and they always go together. There can’t be love without longing and there can’t be longing without love. How can you not long if you love something? If you love something, naturally you will long for it. Radhe- Shyam; the infinity-Radhe-longing. Radhe is the individual life, Shyam the infinite life. The infinity is dawning in every cell of our body. That’s what we have been doing, taking our mind like this, taking it through, observing and seeing, becoming conscious, becoming alive and more alive. The entire creation is filled with life- that - is Radhe Shyam.

The Krishna dances on Kalinga, the snake, and a legendary five-hooded snake. On the top of it Krishna is dancing. This is again another beautiful symbol. Awareness, if not controlled by joy or bliss; it will only bring irritation and anger. If you see people who are very aware, very alert, a creative person, who wants everything precise, they become very angry, restless and agitated and they throw poison? No doubt they want perfection and create misery around if they are not blissful by themselves. Those who want perfection create the entire problem. Those who do not want perfection they do not care for anything. This want of perfection is not bad but it should not be on the top of your head. If bliss is there, love is dancing, then it is all very beautiful, it is all wonderful. It is all smooth and safe. The love is dancing on the hood of awareness. You would see here and there a snake hood and Krishna dancing on top of it. This is what it symbolizes. There is a very deep symbol in it.

And then the flute. See this body is like a hollow and empty flute. It has seven holes, seven centers. And he puts his fingers on the seven centers, different emotions come, different tunes come and he blows through it. Same with everybody’s life. The infinity blows through, plays all different tunes, pushes different buttons and brings out different songs, different music and the entire creation rejoices in that music of the flute. He can blow through it. You become a perfect instrument of the divine when you become hollow and empty. That is when you become like a flute. It is said that even Radha was jealous because the flute was always with Krishna. The creation becomes jealous of you when you become so hollow and empty and it is ready to do whatever you want. You just need to desire. “Let there be sun” and that is it and “ let there be rain” and that is it. Creation is all anxious to fulfil your desire when you become hollow and empty. That is being Murali- the flute. This is the beauty.

In ancient days when people made a story, when a story was written, it was never made just like a history. Somebody was born on such a date and died on such date and lived here on such date. They didn’t bother about the dates; they didn’t bother about history at all. A story also depicts unlimited infinity. Then the story goes beyond time and it becomes timeless, ageless. That symbol is ageless for any age, any time.

Arjuna asked Krishna-just now the fifth chapter be recited. Krishna says “ This yoga, this knowledge of yoga I am giving you now, I had given this fifteen thousand years ago to somebody” immediately Arjuna said “ What? Ishwaku lived so long ago and you are born now? How is it possible that you could have taught this yoga to Ishwaku and others, those people who were born thousands of years ago?” Then Krishna said “My dear both I and you have come here several times. I remember but you don’t remember.” It is written in Gita “I will come again and again when time is needed- when people forget yoga, when people forget this knowledge, when they forget how to go into themselves, how to become hollow and empty, how to get into the source of the being. I will come again and again and revive this knowledge and all the fortunate will get this knowledge.”

I am not finished. I am eternal and I am eternally continuing in consciousness. So like this many small stories charm the mind, charm the intellect, feeling, emotions, body, and everything-the entirety. That nourishes all levels of existence.

A feather is something else we left. Why peacocks feather? Krishna had a peacock feather. You know a crown is never light. Crown means heavily weighed – responsibility. Crown means what? The entire state is on the head. A person cannot sleep. He is responsible for everything happening anywhere in the country. That is what a crown is. But if the crown is made of peacock feather- it is never colorful you know. Our past Prime Minister Chandra shekhar was craving to become Prime Minister for the past twenty years. Finally he got the post but he said  “Oh there is no charm in this post”. The thought was a very big charm but after grating it he lost it and said, “It doesn’t interest me”. That is what everybody feels, what everybody has undergone. You ask anybody who has been in power. It is not colorful. Others may feel “Oh. What a nice crown?” but for them it is a big heavy load on their head. All kings are miserable. I remember once Maharishi was sitting and there were so many people, some Swedish television people had come and they asked Maharishi, “ What is it you are sitting like a king and there are flowers and so many people around you”. Maharishi immediately said “Don’t compare me with kings, they are all miserable. There is nothing colorful there. The peacock feather, you see how many colors are there- gold, brown, blue and green, all beautiful colors. The crown is colorful, at the same time it is light, is made of feathers- peacock feathers. This knowledge is like feather. This knowledge is such a supreme knowledge. Though it commands everything, commands all power in the creation, still it is not heavy, it is very light. It is so blissful, it is so beautiful. That is what the peacock feather depicts.