Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Birthday Return Gift

Question – Gurudev, What is your message to all the devotees around the world on your birthday?

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji – In temples, deities are covered with so many garlands (that people offer), but all that the divine really wants is a smile from you; that should be the flower you offer.

Today, you are celebrating my birthday. So, as the birthday boy, I have the right to ask for a gift from you. I can ask, right? (Everyone is the audience cheers and says ‘Yes’). If you don’t give me a gift, then there is no point in you celebrating my birthday. Celebrations have to go with gifts. So, will you all give me a gift?

If you hate anybody, drop that today. Do not hate anybody. Even if you have the slightest hatred against anybody in your mind, or any type of prejudice, you should leave it today. Don’t think bad about anyone or for anyone.

All this (events and situations) is the play of one consciousness. We will be able to have a broad vision only when there is no feeling of bitterness for anyone. Just throw away all the bitterness. This is the gift you need to give me.

You don’t have to bring me sweets. I just want you to have sweetness in your mind for everyone.

In my 67 years, I have not spoken a bad word, nor do I have bitterness against anyone on the planet. If you have any bitterness in your heart or mind for anybody, you have to give it to me as a gift. And once you give it you cannot take it back! This is what is most needed.

This doesn’t mean you have to be goody-goody to people. When you have to be firm, you be firm. When you have to say something, say it but don’t use abusive language, bad words or be bitter.

Unpleasant truth is okay, but it should be said without the feeling of bitterness. Your heart should be pure and have the freshness of a flower, and your words have to be sweet.

It is important to say the truth. Sweetness doesn’t imply falsehood and bitterness doesn’t imply being truthful. That’s why our ancestors have said, ‘Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat’, you should say the truth, but in a proper manner.

Just be happy! There is no dearth of anything. You experience this fullness when you go deep in meditation. Just like there is space inside and outside a vessel, similarly our body is like a balloon where the space inside and outside is the same. When this truth comes into one’s experience then you don’t feel separation with anyone, nor will you have any problems.

In life difficulties come to everyone, but there is something inside you that remains untouched.

This is the truth and this is what consciousness is. When you realize this then you feel complete. This is the biggest strength in life and is also what is called wisdom. The highest realization is ‘I am this!’ and this truth becomes a reality when our hearts are free from bitterness. Keep this thought in your heart that you are complete and you are full!

When you’re working in society there are chances of you getting sour and bitter, but when you remember this knowledge that – I am pure, you’ll see that in no time the stress vanishes and those clouds of ignorance wither away leaving you complete. I understand how situations can cause emotional turbulence in you, and for that there is meditation. So, meditate every day and not just once in a while. All the best and blessings!