Anandway: Blog

Roadmaps to joy!

What is the difference between a student, a disciple and a devotee?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar- Student-Disciple-Devotee

Sri Sri: These are three different levels, primary, higher secondary and college. A student only wants to take some knowledge and leave. A disciple goes one step further and forms a relationship, he is connected with the heart and mind. And a devotee, well he controls God himself, he makes God is servant! If one is a master he is a devotee, if he wants to do seva, he is a disciple and if he wants to simply takes something and go then he is a student.

What is the use of Seva? How does Seva help meditation?

Q: Guruji what is the use of Seva? How does it help meditation?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Listen, suppose you are stranded in some place and you need someone to give you a lift in their car or taxi and nobody stops their car to give you a lift, how would you feel?

You are carrying two bags and you have to go to the restroom in a railway station. You can’t leave the bags unattended and you have to go to the restroom, what will you do? You will find some nice elderly person, go to them and keep the bags with them requesting them to take care while you go for five minutes to the restroom. Don’t you need other’s help? If they refuse to help you then how can you survive? You know in this world as human beings we have to help each other and that is what seva is.

Seva means what? ‘Sa’ means ‘him’ which refers to God and ‘Eva’ means ‘like him’; doing things like him.

God does so many things for you but does not expect anything in return from you. Whether you pray to him, thank him or not he will still continue to do. He is not doing you a favor. When you thank God, that is for your own joy, it does not matter to God. In the same way whether people acknowledge your work or not, whether they thank you or not you still do it because you find that it is important to do!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

If it is others’ jealousy, don't recognize it, they will bear their cross.

Q: Guruji, I can understand being centered and doing sadhana and seva but when criticism and jealousy turns to harmful proportions, what should I do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be aware, be alert. Is it jealousy in you or in others? If it is in you wake up and see what are you jealous about, everything is going to finish one day. Know that everything is going to be gone, everything is going to finish, your jealousy will right away go down.
If it is others’ jealousy, don't recognize it, they will bear their cross.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar quotes

Why is spirituality needed

Q: Why is spirituality needed?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Okay now, you are both matter and spirit right? Are you only matter? No! You are matter and you are also spirit. Our body is matter, our mind, intellect, emotions, they are part of the spirit. So anything that nurtures the mind, that keeps you sane, that keep you intelligent, that keeps you good hearted, kind-hearted, loving, creative is all spiritual. That which uplifts the spirit is spirituality. What can uplift the spirit? Meditation, knowledge! Knowledge about what is true, what is not true; what is real, what is not real. And then service activities, sharing yourself with others, those who are in need. Contributing to the poor, having compassion, all this is part of spirit.

And anything that uplifts the spirit is spirituality.

So in spirituality, meditation is the first thing. 60% of spirituality is meditation, going in and cleansing your heart and mind and then 20% is service and then 20% is knowledge, wisdom and that makes spirituality. This is very much essential for you to be a good human being. Spirituality is essential. It is because of spirituality that there is honesty, there is creativity, there is compassion, there is service to society, dynamism and most of all, energy. If people are getting depressed in the world today it is because of the lack of spirituality.

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