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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace

Wisdom

Wisdom and truth bring faith, not belief. When you know, you have faith. When you don't know, you start believing!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar bestows on us a practical wisdom that is most rare in this world. This knowledge of how to live life is so deep, so comprehensive, so rich, and -- most remarkable of all -- so available right now for the fortunate ones who desire it.

A Master is more than a teacher or instructor. He is the embodiment of wisdom. He is Sat-Guru (Sat [truth] Guru [great]), the great one who dispels darkness with the light of truth.

Each word of the Master can awaken us to a higher level of life. Each of his sayings is a gentle reminder of how to live a life of maximum joy and worth. When the mind is quiet and focused, it takes only a nudge of insight from the Master for illusions to fall away, the ego to soften, and the heart to melt.

The Master's lessons in the art of living are basic to everyday situations: how to handle love, anger and frustration; how to deal with the complexities of various relationships; how to purify mind, body and spirit; how to live in the present moment; how to realize and radiate the divine love within us.

The Master communicates these time-honored teachings in the language of today with simplicity, brilliance and humor. Through his words and his presence, people from all walks of life have been healed in body, mind, emotions and spirit: students, scholars, artists, business people, doctors, clergy, homemakers, laborers.

A true Master will not answer all your questions right away. Instead he will make the answers unfold from within you. In fact, he will take the answers away from you. He will keep you in wonder. A Master helps you go from your head to your heart.

Questions are never-ending. Each answer leads us again to another question. There can never be an end to questions. This is why questions are connected to sorrow.

Wonder, on the other hand, is related to joy. In wonder we don't seek an immediate answer. Instead we are just amazed at how things are, right here and now. The purpose of knowledge is to lead us to wonder -- to this innocent state of "I don't know." When we are filled with deep wonder, the seeds of wisdom germinate and sprout.

The Master himself is filled with wonder. He often jokes, "I don't know what I am talking about." He never prepares what he will say in advance. Instead, he may invite topics from the audience. Then in uncanny ways he weaves many diverse subjects into one seamless talk. These impromptu sessions spring from his depth of pure consciousness which is both universal and intimately personal. Here the Divine speaks in human form. The most beautiful and satisfying knowledge floods forth. All feel revived and uplifted.

Ageless wisdom coming afresh from the living Master is more potent than all the scriptures of the world put together. Invincible, beyond all languages or cultures, the Master's teaching becomes a living reality instead of a concept. His words are supreme knowledge.

Sometimes the Master doesn't talk at all. He is silent.

Silence in the Master's presence is precious and vibrant, soaked with grace, conveying a wisdom unspeakable -- something unique that one has to experience for oneself.

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In Praise of the Master

Though your body be comely and ever remain in perfect health, your name be unsullied, and mountain-high your hoarded gold, yet if your life is not absorbed in the Master's holy teaching, what will it all avail you?

If fortune blesses you with riches and a virtuous wife, with children and their children, with friendship and the joys of home, yet if your heart is not aflame through the Master's love, what will it all avail you?

Though the lore of ancient knowledge takes its dwelling on your tongue, though you be learned in scripture, gifted in writing prose and verse, yet if your mind is not absorbed in the wisdom of the Master, what will it all avail you?

Even if you be honored at home and famed in foreign lands, given to pious deeds and ever averse to wickedness, though you become at last the emperor of the universe, you possess for servants the mightiest kings of earth, if every nation resound with your beneficence, yet if your mind is not absorbed at the lotus feet of Him, by grace of Whom, alone, everything in this world is won, what will it all avail you?

Whether novice or monk, ruler or worldly man, that noble soul who ponders these verses in the Master's praise, and to the Master's teaching applies his mind with constant zeal -- he will realize Brahman,*the treasure coveted by all. -- Adi Shankara (the expounder of Vedic wisdom who came after Buddha)

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