by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:  One who serves the enlightened, one who  serves the wise, one who keeps wise company, becomes free from this feeling of “I want this, I want that, I, I, I.”

Sri-Sri-Ravi-Shanker-AwakenYou exist as though you do not, you live as though you do not. Hollow and empty – you exist like a feather. You have no demands. You don’t demand that people need to recognize you. So what if everyone doesn’t recognize you, or if everyone recognizes you, so what? Let the whole world recognize you, so what? And if nobody recognizes you, so what? There are flowers in the garden, there are flowers in the forest. Do they say, “Oh, nobody saw me, I have blossomed?” Does it matter to the rose whether someone looks at it or not? In fact, if people look at it, they may pluck it! It is better nobody sees them – they are happy.

This urge for recognition from somebody is what kills you. You do your job and that’s it! What has to come to you, will come to you. Why do we need to crave for other’s recognition? That brings ego – “Me, me, me, I did it.” So many lives like this you have existed on this planet and they have all gone – so many mosquitoes like you.

You know that story of an elephant and the fly on it’s leg? A fly was living on the leg of an elephant. Once the fly got so angry at the elephant, it said, “I am leaving you today! Finished! Enough is enough! I’m done with you.” It got so angry, it left. At that moment, just by accident, the elephant moved it’s leg and some dust arose. But the fly thought that the storm has come because it is leaving the elephant. It told the elephant, “Yes, you see, the storm has come? I am leaving you – you suffer from the storm.” The elephant didn’t even know that the fly was sitting on its leg! And that is how nobody really cares what you are, what you do, what you don’t do. And all impact gets wiped out by the flood of time. Time comes and just floods you, wipes you out, wipes all the memory out of this planet. This me, me, me can only dissolve and you serve. Nirmano bhavati – he becomes free from this identity of ego, identity of the smallness. Identifying yourself with the smallness… because this smallness is the cause of misery. “I was not recognized. Nobody looked at me, nobody loves me.” Come on, wake up. You ARE love!

Love is in giving, not in demanding. Recognize how much love there is for you. The air loves you, that is why it is getting into your nose and coming out of it! The earth loves you, that is why it is holding on to you with it’s gravitational force, otherwise you would have become like a helium balloon – crying and yelling, going up, up – or your head would be sticking to the ceiling. The day the earth stops loving you, just imagine, what would happen if the earth loses it’s gravitational force for you? You will cry, “Hey, hold me!” The sun loves you, that is why the sun shines on you. This entire creation is filled with love.

But this little foolish mind says “Me, Me, I, I, I did this, I did that, I want this, I want that, I like this, I don’t like this”. This identity is what suffocates you, what limits your potential. You  are much more than what you think you are. You are so vast, you are so great! And this little dust in your eyes makes you unable to see the vastness that you are. This little dust that gets into your eyes prevents you from seeing the vastness of the sky.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation