By His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Creating a Stress-Free Mind and a Violence-Free World.
Every living creature wants to be happy. Whether it is money, power or sex, you get into it for the sake of happiness. Some people even enjoy misery because it gives them happiness!
To be happy, we seek something. But, despite getting it, we are not happy. All of one’s life is spent in preparing to be happy someday in the future. It’s like making a bed all night, but having no time to sleep. How many minutes, hours and days have we spent our life being happy from within? Those are the only moments you have really lived life.
There are two ways of looking at life. One is thinking that, “I’ll be happy after achiev- ing a certain objective.” The second is saying that “I am happy come what may!” Which one do you want to live?
Our life is like a river. A river needs two banks to flow. The difference between floods and a flowing river is that in a river, water flows regulated in one direction. During floods, the water is muddled and has no direction. Similarly, the energy in our life needs some direction to flow. If you don’t give direction, it is all confusion. Today most of the people are in confusion because there is no direction in life. When you are happy, there is so much of life energy in you; but when this life energy doesn’t know where to go, it gets stuck. When it stagnates, it rots! Just like how the water has to keep flowing, in the same way, life has to keep moving.
For life energy to move in a direction, commitment is essential. Life runs on commit- ment. If you observe every small thing or big thing in life, it goes with certain com- mitment. A student takes admission in a school or college with a commitment. You go to a doctor with a commitment saying that you are going to take the medication or listen to whatever the doctor says. Banks work on commitment. The government works on commitment. Needless to say, a family runs on commitment: a mother is committed to the child, a child is committed to the parents, the husband is committed to his wife, and the wife is committed to her husband. Whether it is love, business, or friendship or at work or any area of life, you take, there is commitment.
You cannot stand someone who does not commit, but see how much commitment have you taken in your life? Of course, our commitment is proportional to what we have our power, our capacity or capability. If you are committed to taking care of your family, that much capacity or power you gain. If your commitment is for the community, you will get that much energy, joy, that much power. More will be given to you only if you utilise properly what you already have! This is a law in nature. Why should nature give you more when you are stuck with your little mind?
The tendency to seek more is there in you; you only have to give a twist to it. Instead of “What more can I have?”, just start asking yourself “What more can I do?” Then you will see that there is joy. The more responsibility you take, the more power will come on to you.
Greater the commitment you take, greater the power you gain to fulfil that commit-ment. Greater the commitment, easier things are. Smaller the commitment, suffocating it is for you. Smaller commitments suffocate you because you have more capacity, but you are stuck in a small hole!
If you just sit and think, “What about me, what will happen to me?” you will get thor- oughly depressed. The way to expand from individual to universal consciousness is to share the sorrows and joys of others. As you grow, your consciousness should also grow. When you expand in knowledge with time, then depression is not possible. The way to overcome personal misery is to share universal misery! The way to expand personal joy is to share universal joy. Instead of thinking “What can I gain from this world?”, think “What can I do for the world?”