There are five secrets which are sacred and are guarded by the subtle beings and angels in this creation.
Jananarahasya (the secret of birth): Birth is a secret. How a soul takes a body, the criteria for selecting the place of birth, time of birth, type of body, parents, etc are all a secret.
Maranarahasya (the secret of death): Death is a highly guarded secret. Death remains a mystery. The process of separation of spirit from matter and its journey from then on is a secret.
Rajarahasya (the royal secret, the secret of ruling): The principles of governing; the principles of maintaining the orderliness in creation are a secret.
Prakritirahasya (the secret of nature): Nature is a mystery. The more you know about nature, the mystery deepens. The more a scientist knows, the more he feels there is much more to know. Science, though appearing to resolve the mystery in creation, has deepened it. The knowledge of particles, wave functions, black holes, the vacuum state, etc have only deepened the mystery.
Mantrarahasya (secret of mantras): The mantras and their effect, influence, method and mode of working are all a mystery. Mantras are the impulses or rhythms of consciousness, which itself is a mystery.
Usually in the West, a secret is shameful and dishonest. But in the East, it is honored and regarded as sacred.
~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Atheism is when you do not believe either in values or in the abstract. When an atheist comes to the guru, what happens? You start experiencing your own form and discover that you are indeed formless, hollow and empty. And this abstract non-form in you becomes more and more concrete. The guru makes the abstract more real and what you thought was solid appears to be more unreal. Sensitivity and subtlety dawn. Perception of love, not as an emotion, but as the substratum of existence, becomes evident. The formless spirit shines through every form in creation and the mystery of life deepens, shattering atheism.
Then the journey begins and it has four stages.
The first stage is Saarupya — to see the formless in the form, seeing God in all the forms. Often, one feels more comfortable seeing God as formless rather than with a form, because with a form, one feels a distance, a duality, a fear of rejection and other limitations. In life all of our interactions are with a form, other than in deep sleep and in samadhi. And, if you do not see God in the form, then the waking part of life remains devoid of the Divine. All those who accept God to be formless use symbols, and perhaps love the symbols more than God himself. If God comes and tells a Christian to leave the cross or a Muslim to drop the crescent, perhaps he may not do it. To begin with, loving the formless is possible only through forms.
The second stage is Saamipya (closeness) — feeling absolutely close to the form you have chosen and reaching out to the formless. This leads to a sense of intimacy with the whole creation. In this stage, one overcomes the fear of rejection and other fears. But this is bound by time and space.
The third stage is Saanidhya — feeling the presence of the Divine by which you transcend the limitations of time and space.
Then the final stage is Saayujya — When you are firmly entrenched in the Divine. It is then you realize you are one with the Divine. There is a total merging with the Beloved and all duality disappears. This is that and that is this. Whether an atheist or believer, he goes through these four stages.
~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Did you know that every finger in your hand is connected to a planet? ~ Sri Sri
Every finger in your hand is connected to a planet. The thumb is connected to Mars. Mars stays alone.
Index finger is connected to Jupiter (Jupiter shows the path, it is the teacher). When you want to show something, you show using the index finger, this is Jupiter. The middle finger is connected to Saturn; Saturn is the servant. The ring finger is connected to the Sun; the Sun is the king. And who owns the jewels? The king, and so you put rings only on the ring finger. That’s why it’s called the ring finger. The little finger is connected to Mercury. So when you do chin mudra, what is happening? The index finger (Jupiter) and the thumb (Mars) are coming together, that is wisdom and power.
Why is the thumb connected to Mars? It is because whenever you win, what do you do? You put your thumbs up. Thumbs up is a sign of victory. When you lose what do you do? You put your thumbs down. So these gestures are so inbuilt in us.
Different planets affect different parts of your body. Your teeth is connected to Saturn. Your eyes are connected to the Sun, your cheeks are connected to Venus, forehead to Mercury, nose to Jupiter. I mean this as the connection of microcosm with the macrocosm. It is so fascinating!
Similarly, moods depend on the moon. A mood does not stay for more than two and a quarter day. That is the amount of time the moon is at one place. The moment the moon moves from that place; your mood also changes. And when the moon and Saturn combine, people get depressed. So these emotions, these feelings, they come and they go away. Nothing is permanent. No planet is permanently stationary in one place. They all move. But when you identify yourself with any one of these emotions, you get stuck. That’s when you don’t move. That is when it infiltrates into your body and you get sick, and all such things happen. Isn’t it fascinating? So what is the way? How to move on from that?
On a cloudy day, when a flight takes off, what does it do? It goes above the clouds, and then there is sunshine. That is what the spiritual practices are. They move us away from the Chit Akasha(the space of the mind) to the Chida Akasha(space of pure consciousness). We move beyond all the emotions.
9 planets moving through the 12 constellations brings 108 units of change. So to enhance the good effects and to reduce the malefic effects, ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is chanted 108 times. That uplifts you, uplifts your spirit, and takes you beyond. It connects you to the Chida Akash(space of pure consciousness).
Why fasting is beneficial.
Sri Sri ~ We fast not to please the Divine, but to cleanse our body. You overwork your liver, stomach and pancreas so much. If there was a labor court for the body, all these organs would have complained against you in that court. We don’t allow them to rest at all. We drink and eat the whole day until night, and we overwork our system. They do need some rest and for that you need to fast.
God is not going to be pleased by your fasting. It is more to detox your own body. And why fasting is combined with prayer all over the world and in all religions, is because when you are fasting, you are detoxified and your prayer becomes authentic and deep. Your meditation happens best when your stomach is empty. Isn’t that your experience?
If you meditate on a full stomach, you will fall asleep. That is why it is said, you can say your prayers when you are fasting as your body is detoxified and your mind is rested and alert.
Q: Guruji, What is sattva and what is it’s contribution in our lives?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sattva means that which brings harmony, that which makes you happy, that which makes you enthusiastic,that which brings knowledge in you. This is all sattva. Rajas makes you go too much up and too much down. Either you get too excited and you feel I can’t even handle this excitement or it is so down. This is rajas. Tamas is when you feel so lazy and so negative that you don’t want anything. You dislike everybody. That is tamogun. So When you feel tamogun get up and start working, then rajogun will come. Then when you are too much into action, I would say just sit back and relax then you will get into satva. So, before meditation do some exercise. When you do all this the restlessness or rajas in you calms down. Then you are able to meditate.