This book is a collection of weekly talks, conversations, and messages that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave between June 21 1995 to June 13 1996.
Shankar (not to be confused with the famous sitar player) is a saint from India, who's teachings give a wonderful, warm view of Hindu values and beliefs- a religion that is often misunderstood in the West.
While these talks often discuss the state of the world at the time they were written, because they discuss human life on the most basic levels - love, hatred, trust, peace, silence, happiness, they are still valuable today. Sri Sri avoids lengthy discussions about the deeper philosophy of life, yet his talks reflect these values to their very core.
From this Book:
"We attach meaning to words and we distort them, too. For example, the word 'brainwashing.' Like your body, your brain needs washing sometimes. You don't want to walk around with a dirty brain, a dirty mind. What is wrong with the word 'brainwashing'? It indicates a clean brain, a clean mind, but it is used in a derogatory manner.
Like that, the word 'disillusionment.' It is good that you are disillusioned. You have come to reality. Like purana. It means 'that which is new in the town, the most modern.' But it is used in the sense of being old. In the course of time, meanings of words change. The word 'enthused' comes from the Greek which means 'God is with us.' Then it came to mean crazy, and now it's changed again.
Don't be stuck with the words. Your worries are words. Your ideas are words. Wisdom is beyond words. It is the very Being. It is the essence of all words. See and relate beyond words. Then there is no lie in your life.
If you manipulate words, it is a lie. If you play on words, it is a joke. If you rely on words, it is ignorance. If you transcend words, it is wisdom."
About the Author:
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living movement, believes in spreading the knowledge of living a healthier life through his message of compassion, commitment to society, and a cosmic understanding of life. Born on May 13, 1956 in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Ravi developed an inclination and an amazing acumen for the study of the ancient Vedic scriptures.
By the age of 17, he obtained an advanced degree in Modern Physics, and later received an Honorary Doctorate from Kuvempu University, Karnataka, India.
At an early age his father, R S V Ratnam delegated him to the care of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a renowned spiritual master. After attaining his degree in science, Ravi joined Maharishi's entourage, taught the Vedic pundits at Maharishi's charities, and soon became the Maharishi's favourite disciple.
In 1982, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar went into ten days of silence and emerged as an enlightened master. It is believed that during this time he cognized the famous Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique. In order to spread the kriya and other related knowledge, Sri Sri subsequently set up the Art of Living (AOL) Organization in 1982.
Today the Art of Living Foundation is the world's largest volunteer based Non-Governmental Organization, active in over 140 countries. Its service projects, programs on yoga, meditation and stress elimination have benefited over 20 million people representing all walks of life, religions, cultures and traditions with its 5Hs program in the areas of Health, Homes, Hygiene, Human Values and Harmony in Diversity.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) in 1997, which undertakes development projects in thousands of villages, bringing self-reliance to millions of people from Afghanistan to Bosnia, Iraq to New York. Sri Sri is the recipient of numerous honors including the "2005 Global Humanitarian Award" by the state of Illinois, "Guru Mahatmya" award by Government of Maharashtra, India, the title of "Yoga Shiromani" by President of India, the Phoenix Award from the Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, only to name a few… He was a guest speaker at the Millennium World Peace Summit during the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. Sri Sri is also a member of the Council of the Divinity School at Yale University.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar travels extensively across the globe to inspire youth to work together for a better society. As he says, "Religion is the banana skin and spirituality is the banana. The misery in the world is because we throw away the banana and are holding on to the skin." Sri Sri believes that all religions and traditions have a common value system, and these shared values have to reach every corner of the world in order to make it a better place for all.