Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Shiva Sutras: Shiva means that which is auspicious. In everyone’s life there has been something auspicious. Among so many negative things that happen around, take that one positive thing and hold on to it. A Sutra is a thread. If someone has fallen in a deep well, what do you do? You throw a rope at them. They hold on to the rope and come up. You pull them up. That is what Shiv Sutras are meant to do. These are simple one-line sutras which are there to make you aware that your true nature is bliss, your true nature is joy and light.
That is why it is said: Namah śrī śambhave svātmānanda prakāśa vapuśe
I bow down to the wealth that brings peace and fills the body with joy.
How does auspiciousness begin? It happens when the mind turns inwards. When the mind wanders outside, it is caught up in problems and confusion. This is what misery is - when the mind gets caught up in the world and forgets itself. Happiness can be described as remembering your Self.
Suppose a close relative or friend visits you after a long time. You prepare sweets, arrange everything nicely to welcome them and go to the railway station to receive them. You eagerly look for them, checking whether or not the train is running on time and whether they have arrived. There is restlessness and anxiety while you are waiting but how do you feel when you finally meet them? Thrilled! The mind instantly blossoms. Where there is no eagerness and anticipation, there is just love.
The mind naturally flows towards that which you love. When you are with a dear friend, your mind stays with you and does not wander elsewhere. Observe that when you are joyful, you become one with your Self. Your nature is joy, and this is the reason you experience joy when you are in your nature. When you read the word ‘mana’ meaning mind, from the other direction, it becomes “nama.” What does it mean? When the mind turns inward it is namah, and an outward mind is manah. When you enter a temple, you say ‘namah’ and the mind automatically turns inwards.
What attracts the mind outward? It is prosperity, wealth, success and beauty. The sight of anything beautiful draws the mind towards it.
The whole world revolves around only one thing, and that is ‘Srī’, which means prosperity. You yearn for knowledge, for happiness, for beauty, wealth, success, advancement – whatever you long for, it is only for one desire, and that is Srī. However, the more intensely people long for it, the more difficult it is to attain, and the more miserable they get.
This is why Buddha concisely said, “Desire is the root cause of misery.” Go anywhere and look at what the people talk about, and you will find that it is all about Srī.
The whole world revolves around Srī, but how do we acquire it? Even if we do get it, who is to say it will be satisfying enough? If one is to find Srī, one’s mind must turn inwards. When we are in a state of namah, when we are introspective, we find Srī and true wealth is born. Real wealth being within us, when we turn inwards, we can access real happiness and pleasure. Although the richest of the rich may smile outwardly, peep into their minds, and you might not find any cheerfulness or contentment. Without satisfaction, what is the use of such wealth? If it is nothing but filled with worries and one dies with worries, what kind of Srī is that?
‘Śambhave’ – Wealth and prosperity should bring peace. However, often one acquires wealth and problems follow it. Quarrels start between parents and children and between spouses. If you examine the pending court cases, you will find that most of the cases arise out of disputes over money! Even if we were to gain so much wealth, what is the point? While one does need money, along with wealth one also gets diseases like stomach pains, ulcers, diabetes, heart attack, etc.
‘Svātmānanda’ – filled with bliss, having a cheerful state of mind. There are some people who do good acts, but do not have peace and joy.
But look at children. They are not very serious. They are happy. What kind of happiness do they have? ‘svātmānanda prakāśā vapuse’ – happiness overflows in them. They send out such joyful vibrations. A child’s mind is innocent and calm, with a blossomed awareness. This is life’s goal. One characteristic of life is that it should end where it began, and life is a cycle that starts with happiness.
“Ānandena jātāni jīvanti” – it is said in the Upanishads: “Life happens in joy and finds completion in joy.” The soul should be filled with happiness – that is the goal of the Shiva Sūtras.