Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Your Armor

Your armor

Bali, (Indonesia) April 9: During the satsang held tonight, advanced course participants heard Sri Sri give practical tips for daily living.
Ancient wisdom revived for modern life.

Q: Kindly enlighten us on love and compassion.
A.: Remember that love is our nature. Don’t ask for proof of someone’s love for you. That’s a big mistake. ‘Do you really love me? Come on, prove it to me,’ people often tell each other. How can you put into words what you feel, right? People are doing a big mistake by asking this: ‘Do you really love me?’ That’s a big mistake. That’s why the knowledge of the Bhakti Sutras is so essential. Before people get married, they should know this. Otherwise, what happens is that they get married and then start demanding proof of their love to each other. And it creates more doubt. Suppose a woman demands from a husband: ‘Do you really love me? Show me. Prove it to me. Take me to a picnic, come home on time, do this, do that…..’ It’s such a big burden. A man has to prove himself everywhere in the world. At home too, he needs to prove himself that he is a loving person. It becomes a headache. How long can he do it? He does it for sometime and then he gets fed up and runs away. This applies to the man and the woman.

Love is our nature. And all other negative qualities in you are off springs of love. Jealousy comes to you because you love somebody so much. Greed is because you love material things more than somebody. You love your own position and status – that is called arrogance. Isn’t that so? You love certain part of the body too much. It is called lust. You become angry because you love perfection so much that you cannot stand imperfection. Obsession, greed, anger – all these are off springs of love. If you don’t have love, you won’t have any other problem. But now, we don’t want greed, jealousy, arrogance or lust. With wisdom and knowledge, love remains pure. It’s like putting a preservative in love. So that love doesn’t get distorted, it remains love. Compassion is one of the flavors of love. Compassion is, in fact, an action for those who are miserable. Compassion disappears if nobody is miserable. For compassion to exist in life, you have to have someone in life who is suffering or miserable. And there are plenty of people who are like that. For love, there are no such requirements.

There are four important moods or attitudes that we have to keep in our life.
1. Friendliness towards those who are happy. We need to be friendly with those who are enjoying their life and those who are on cloud nine. If we are friendly towards them, then there is no jealousy.
2. Compassion towards those people who are unhappy. If you are in the same boat, you cannot save them. So friendliness is no good with people who are miserable. What is good? Compassion. If your friend is miserable, if you are friendly with them, you will also get miserable. That’s where the karma principle holds good. Compassion.You should be happy when you see people who are doing good and meritorious work. Don’t try to pull them down. Generally, you try to pull down someone who is progressing. The problem with journalists is that they criticise people when they see that they are progressing.
I’ll give you an example. One of our teachers met a journalist and showed him all the work that we do – all over the world and in India. Around 10.6 million people participated in the Mission Green Earth project. A pledge was taken to plant and nurture 55 million trees. When this was presented to a committee, they commented that no work happened in Nagaland. My dear, there are already so many trees in Nagaland, why not look at the work that has been done elsewhere?You try to find fault in everything. ‘You are planting so many trees. Oh, you want publicity.’ We don’t need any publicity, we are getting enough already. What do you call these minds?
There is a term in the Bhagwad Gita – asuya. It means an intolerance towards good work. It is the tendency to find fault in anything.In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna: you are anasuya, i.e. devoid of fault-finding eyes. Lord Krishna was also anasuya. That is why, many people would try to find fault in him.
3. Ignore the ones who commit sinful work. There could be someone who doesn’t behave well with you, despite your good behavior towards them. Then it’s their problem. They could be mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law or neighbours too. When you sit for meditation, then the neighbours will switch on loud music or increase the television’s volume. They know the time that you sit for meditation and hence misbehave. With people who do things that are incorrect, your attitude should be that of ignoring then. Then your action can be one of correctness. But if you are emotionally upset, then your mind starts thinking of ideas to teach them a lesson. Your behaviour indicates that you want them to change because it’s inconvenient for you. When you want to teach them a lesson, it never happens because you are doing it with anger. The one who has true compassion can teach people a real lesson. One who says, ‘Look my dear, what you are doing is not good for you.’ Then they will listen, it touches their heart. But if you say, ‘What you are doing is hurting me, then they will not listen. ’Have this attitude: ‘Come what may, I will not get hurt,. If someone is going to be nasty, I will learn to be compassionate.’The anger is boiling inside them, so don’t welcome their negativity into your system. That’s where you need to shield your mind. We need to save our mind.
We say – save the planet, save the environment, save this and that, but nobody says save the mind. Think they have left that task to us.We have to go with this slogan – save your mind at all cost.
4. A sense of belongingness. When someone dear to you progresses in life, doesn’t it make you happy? It does. That attitude is good. Say, a close friend gets selected for Miss Universe or becomes a champion in hockey. You feel happy that my friend won the gold medal in Olympics, long jump or 1,000 metres race. So, you feel proud and happy. That sense of happiness, of compassion, of joy, protects the mind. Maharishi Patanjali gave the sutra in yogasutras. Your mind will float in grace, if you can have these four attitudes. Not going, ‘Bang, bang bang… you are a cheater’. My dear, relax. Others may be a cheater and you are no better than a cheater, because you are also spreading negativity in a different fashion.

When you have these four types of attitudes, relax. Knowing that everything will be taken care makes a big difference in our lives. Otherwise, if you wake up and see, corruption is rampant. This corruption has entered every field, including religion. Many religious people try to convert people from one faith to another by giving money. Just to increase the number of followers! When you read about the actions of so-called religious priests in the newspapers, your mind will get agitated. And when you are angry, you cannot do anything that will bring you peace. An agitated person cannot bring peace to the world. If you yourself have been suffering with bondage, how can you liberate others? So, the way to make our mind strong, pure and clear is by having these four attitudes.Otherwise, it’s so difficult. Like when you commit a mistake, you expect others to excuse you. This is because the mistake happened in an unconscious state of mind. Suppose someone invited you for a party at their home and you couldn’t turn up or you went late. Suppose they are angry at that. And they hold on to that anger for all their life, what can you do? Small things are made into mountains. We need to check that.

That’s why we need all these silence programmes to introspect:Are we so rigid that everyone wants to run away from us? Are we so stiff that it becomes miserable for others to live around us? How many people feel comfort around us or in our company? Are you that pleasant personality that everyone feels comfortable around you? And to what degree has it manifested in you? Look back and see: How much were you unlikeable in the past and how much do people like you now. You don’t have to make an effort for people to like you. Are you being pleasant? Even when you have to point out a mistake, you can do it in a skillful manner. Suppose you have to work with a boss, who is foolish and nasty, how do you work with them? With skill. You have to tell the boss: ‘You are the best, you know everything. I have an idea, but you know it better.’ Then the boss will say: ‘Yes, yes, it’s correct.’The boss will want to ascertain his position as boss. You are shaking his position to make an action come out of it. It’s not going to work. Do you see what I am saying? People are so insecure: about money, relationships, health, friendship, prestige, status in society. They are insecure in every angle. You live in such a world, it’s a mental case. It’s a gone case. You hardly find people who are healthy and established in self.

In Bali, they say, Om swasti astu. Swasti means health, may health be upon you. Swasti really means the one who is established in spiritual health. Like your liver should function normally, heart should beat properly. Brain should perceive things related to this reality. When all the organs are doing their job, then you are healthy. Similarly, Swasti means being established in the Self.

The greeting of Om swasti astu means ‘May you be in yourself! May you be in the best of health: spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.’When you see people are not centered in their life, a small thing can trigger and put them off track. Isn’t that so? And you have been doing that also. A small comment, someone criticizes you, you went off, not one day, but months together, refuse to see them. Someone says, ‘You look like a ghost.’ Say, ‘Yes, I am a holy ghost.’ Have some humor. Humor can save you through all these rough weather. Make it fun! I heard that a minister in India once said, ‘All these beautiful women are getting married to fools. They have fools as their husbands.’ His wife said, ‘Don’t keep complimenting me all day. Enough is enough, you have complimented me enough.’Instead of telling her husband, ‘Why do you keep looking at beautiful women? Blah, blah, blah…’ the wife skillfully silenced him. So, when you tell people, ‘Why do you love me so much?’, their love increases. But if you ask them to prove it to you, then you are creating a situation which is so heavy, so unpleasant. Got it?

Now, there are two secrets: One for men and one for women.
Ladies first: Never step on the ego of your man because he will be nothing without his ego. The whole world can tell him that he has no brains, but a wife should never tell him that he is useless or that he has no brains. You should tell him, ‘You are the best man in the whole world. The only thing is that you don’t use your brain enough.’You should always praise your man. Don’t put him under your feet or squash him. Never. When he is tired of proving himself to the whole world, he comes home and at least he finds some peace. Always pump the ego of a man.

Now the secret for a man. Are you ready for it? Never step on the emotions of a woman. Give her the freedom to participate in religious programmes. Never say anything against her family. She may complain to you about them, but you had better not participate. If you do, she will turn against you the very next moment. She will change sides, so, never ever say anything negative about her family. And when she wants to go for shopping, never say no. Just give her your credit card. So, keeping our mind, saving our mind at all costs is necessary.

Recently a couple came to see me in Germany. They were unhappy. The man said that his son hated him, despite him doing so much for the child. Since the father and son didn’t get along, the mother was caught in between the two. I told them to send their son to me. When the son came to see me the next day, I just told him one thing: ‘Look, your father is so old, do you want him to die miserable? You can’t change him. You expect him to change? And do you want him to be miserable when he breathes his last breath? Can you tell him something nice? Can you do that for me? Just one or two gestures?’ The boy looked at me and said, “Yes, Guruji.”Then the boy changed. Once, he surprised his father by receiving him at the airport. He said some good words and suddenly the burden got lifted. The whole family became happy. Each one is right in their place, but we forget that we live in a society, in an atmosphere with differences.

Have you heard about this research that came in the newspapers recently? Two scientists from California and Russia were researching together for 20 years on the topic of happiness. What they found is that if the friend of a friend of a friend of yours is happy, then suddenly you find yourself happy. 20 percent of that happiness comes to you. We are living in a collective consciousness. We are enveloped in a collected consciousness. That’s why satsangs are important, because it increases the vibrations of the whole environment around us.

In Sanskrit, it’s called kavach, armor.
Group meditation, service projects all these are essential in life.
Q: What is the meaning of the phrase: ‘Everything is there in everything’?
A: Just one drop of blood is enough to test the blood in your body. From just one drop of saliva, doctors can determine your DNA. The functioning of the kidney, pancreas… everything can be detected by one drop of saliva, one drop of blood. You can virtually create every possible creature from one human DNA. Did you know about this? Scientists say a single human DNA has the DNA chains of all the animals on the planet. An elephant, crow, mosquito, even a hippo …. so there is a hippo hiding inside you. But inside a hippo, there is no human being. At least, science hasn’t made any claims on this yet. Modern science and ancient knowledge are in the same boat. The most ancient Vedic knowledge says the same thing. There is a doctor from Germany who has scientifically proved that everything is nothing, the whole universe is nothing. What you think as a solid substance is actually nothing. People think he is crazy. But he gives scientific explanations for every fact. It is startling to hear the same truth as the Vedantic Truth that has been around for thousands of years. From subjective and objective analysis, they ultimately mean the same thing.

Anyways, enough discussion for today. Remember: Just drop all that is bothering you, if you are not free today, you can never be free anytime. Don’t expect freedom to come to you. Tonight I am free, everything is going to happen the way it is going to happen.
Sri Sri Ravishankar

Monday, 16 February 2009

Taking Responsibility For Your Feelings

Often people think caring, being compassionate, means catering to the emotional needs of another peroson. They think they need to say, "Oh, how are you feeling? You are sad today? You are depressed? Oh, just tell me what is it." They sit, listen and console the person; they support and in fact encourage the other person's feelings of negativity and misery. Pampering a person in this way just leads to a bigger mess.

Just realize how often you ask people how they feel. See, today you feel good. Tomorrow you don't feel good. Who cares? There is no guarantee you will feel good after doing anything. You may feel miserable. You may suffer. You don't need to care for people's emotions at all. This may look very cruel, but I tell you it is okay, because it makes you strong.

A wise person does not care for emotions because emotions are ever changing. And everyone has to work out their own karma. If you are feeling bad, you must have done something terrible in your past. Otherwise, why would you feel bad? Nature is never unjust. Nature always does justice. If you are unhappy, it's becuase of your own karma. If you are suffering, it's because of your karma. Suffer. Finish it off. Suffer and finish. Nature brings joy to one who has done good and brings suffering to those who have down wrong acts.

It is not necessary to care for anybody's feelings at all. Absolutely not. You needn't complain at all. The question is, are you doing your job? Do your job. That's it. That makes people really strong. And no one complains. Nothing to complain about. 
Once a very educated gentleman went to visit an enlightened master. A third person spoke with them, and then left the room, and in half and hour, that person met with an accident on the road and died. When the news came, the master just kept silent for a minute or two and then started doing his usual business. The gentleman said, "There's no compassion here. I cannot understand this."
For a Master, for an enlightened person, death and life is nothing. It's like going from one room to another room. A big deal! Time, inifinity. Dead and gone. So what? The person who is knowledge neither cries for the living nor cries for the dead. Do you see what I am saying? It's not lack of compasson. But compassion we often misunderstand as pampering, telling nice words, giving attention - all those things. There is no way you can demand that kind of attention in the company of a true master. If you demand attention - get out! Straight. When you complain, you will be asked to just get out. Do your job and be happy. That's it.
That strength of discipline helps people to go beyond their feelings and emotions. I think that is good because then you are busy doing something. You are not sitting and thinking, brooding over, expecting someone to console you or to uphold you. Isn't it? Simply working, simply busy and achieving your goal. Your mind is focused on that. Then that brings so much strength in you. 
Certainly I don't want you to whine and complain. No way. I don't care how you feel. I care for you and I don't care how you are feeling. You feel up and you feel down - it's so much moodiness. So much wasting of time happens in this.
Take responsibility for your own feelings. In the world, often people throw their responsibiliy of their feelings on others and on situations, circumstances. Somebody else is responsible for my feeling down. Because you said this thing to me, I am feeling low. You didn't look at me, so I am feeling low.
You know, no one is responsibily for the way you feel. YOU are totally responsibile if you are feeling happy or unhappy. Take that
responsbility. When you take responsibility, you gain power. Then you become happy. 

January 2000
Bad Antogast, Germany

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Surrender the bliss or joy of your meditation. Letting go, not holding on even to peace. When you hold on to peace, all you get is disturbance. If you hold on to joy, all that you get is misery. If you dont care for joy, misery will never touch you. If you dont care for peace, nothing will disturb you.

Everything is part of life, So make use of every situation in life as a step towards growth. Aceept and receive everything as a part of life. This endurance is the seventh spiritual law. When you dont hang on to pleasure you become free, and when you dont hang on to freedon, you gain love. It is a natural law, a natural progression; The universal spirit loves you so much. You must know this first, god loves you so much. When you forget god and try to hold on to small things, for a while, the divine keeps quiet. Then a problem arises in your life. Problems come so that you can be centered and joy comes for you to serve and be grateful. Seek to find that balance and make use of every situation in life for your growth.

Agression is the antidote to depression. Wise are those who do not fall either into agression or depression.

That is the golden rule of yogi. Just wake up and acknowledge you are a yogi.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Reverence for Nature Only Way to Save It

Reverence for Nature Only Way to Save It

by H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Speaking Tree - Times of India

 Ancient scriptures say we have five sheaths: physical environment, physical body, mind, intuitive sheath or subtle environment, and the Self.

Indian tradition believes in the sanctity of nature. Our rishis perceived the mountains, rivers, Sun, Moon and trees to be sacred. That which is sacred is honoured. Environmental consciousness has been built into our way of life, to become our second nature. But when we start moving away from our nature we begin polluting the environment. Unfortunately, we pollute our rivers and mountains in the name of sacred rituals.

We also suffer from the misconception that ecological degradation is an inevitable by-product of techno-logy and development. But the two need not be mutually exclusive. The purpose of technology is to harness nature, to bring information and comfort to human beings. When spiritual and human values are ignored, technology brings pollution and destruction, instead of comfort. The role of spirituality is to help maintain harmony in the environment even while allowing technology and science to grow. This is the challenge of the present century.

We can take our lessons in environment preservation from nature. Nature digests waste material and produces something beautiful every time. Despite all the extreme characteristics one finds in nature, somehow, a balance is struck. It is not the science or the technology that is harmful; it is the waste material produced that is toxic. This waste needs to be minimised and recycled.

The greatest pollutant is, of course, human greed. It comes in the way of preservation of ecology, as it gives higher priority to quick profit and quick results over eco-friendly manufacturing practices. Greed pollutes the subtle environment and mind of man with negative emotions and impressions. Pollution permeates both the physical and subtle environment. An angry person exudes anger which spreads to others around him. It is a chain reaction. At the root of all wars is compounded negativity of emotions. Often we are not aware that something that is anti-environment is also anti-health.

 By reviving traditional reverence for nature, we could restore a degree of purity to our surroundings. We can see God in nature — this would make us more sensitive to the way we treat nature. Then you can't but be environmentally conscious. Both ancient and modern methods need to be adopted.

Vedic farming was done with cow urine, cow dung and neem leaves, and these have now been proved to be excellent for crop production. Recent experiments in India have shown that the yield has tripled just by natural farming done without fertili-sers and pesticides. Just because something is new, it need not be good and just because something is old it need not be discarded. A good mix of the two can help us balance our lives with that of the environment and in this manner, we can prevent further degradation of Planet Earth. This can only happen when human consciousness rises above greed, selfish motives, and exploitation. We need to ask ourselves: How much do we want to exploit Earth? Or how much do we want to preserve it?

Spirituality checks greed. It raises awareness and brings a sense of caring and commitment for the whole planet. Spirituality elevates our consciousness. It opens our eyes to the beauty of nature, and encourages us to honour nature and life — and helps bring more joy and celebration into our lives. A spiritual out- look and sensitivity is essential to foster environment consciousness

Thursday, 16 October 2008

We are in denial :- Sri Sri Ravishankar
Negating identity causes inaction, sloth and lethargy


If you come across a Communist, with a Hindu name, and ask him about his identity, he will deny being a Hindu. Yet, a Muslim Communist often claims his identity without hesitation. One wonders what causes this difference in attitude.

It is interesting to probe into the psyche of identity, which often is a source of security, insecurity, conflict and comfort. Perhaps the following reasons would answer the identity crises of the Hindus. The broadmindedness of Hinduism, its inherent inclusiveness and secularism, makes Hindus feel guilty about claiming their identity, as it is embedded in their philosophy that it is wrong to exclude others. Claiming a religious identity makes them feel they are excluding others and so they shy away from doing so.

Hindus have been traditionally groomed by the Vedanta to drop all identities. This has deeply influenced the Hindu psyche. Hindu philosophy is woven around egolessness. Let alone their religion, some sadhus don’t even say their name; they would say, “What’s in a name?” Sanyasis are even shy to talk about their parentage. A renowned ascetic in Rishikesh would meet with everybody, but not his own mother and family. When asked, he would say, “I am Vedanti; once I have taken sanyasa, I have dropped all my identities.”

This is an erroneous understanding of Vedanta. Why do we fear the identity so much? Seeing identity as stumbling blocks for one’s growth is ignorance. Sanyasa is transcending identity; it is being in that centredness from where you have equal love and compassion for all. It is the unshakable light and richness that one has found in one’s Being which is universal. Transcending identity is different from denying identity. When religious leaders themselves denounce their identity, the community follows suit. This is akin to the thought that secularism is anti-religion.

Caste identity is in some places much stronger than religious identity. The normal tendency is to go for one single identity than for a dual one. So, between caste and religion, many Hindus seem to go for caste. Hindus feel ashamed of the ills of Hinduism — its superstition, untouchability, and practices like sati are usually highlighted in the media, rather than its unparalleled philosophy and scientific temperament. Thus, for several centuries Hindu bashing has been a fashion.

The media seems to have given the prerogative of Hindu identity to the RSS and VHP and secular-minded Hindus would not like to associate with these two organisations. As a result they shy away from their own identity.

Within India itself, we witness a great deal of ignorance about the Hindu religion and its scriptures. Although Hindus form 80 per cent population of India, there is still only one university which teaches Hinduism — whereas there are five which teach Islam, five which teach Christianity, two which teach Sikhism and one that teaches Jainism. You would find every Muslim would know a couple of verses from the Quran; you can hardly find a Christian who has not read the Bible.

But Hindus who know Sanskrit or a few shlokas are rare. Most educated Hindus know the Bible; they know Christmas carols. When they know nothing about their religion, how can they take pride in it?

There are 1.25 billion Hindus in the world, a little over one-sixth of the world’s population, but you hardly find a single Hindu lobby at international forums. You will find a Christian lobby, a Muslim lobby or a Jewish lobby, but you can’t find a Hindu lobby. Just 12 million Jews in the world are such a powerful voice. Buddhists also have a voice and make their presence felt at world forums.

In countries of south and central America and in Europe, although they are secular democracies, they are not shy to proclaim their allegiance to Christianity. You will find the religious symbol of the Cross placed in their parliaments; chaplains offer prayer before every official dinner. While associations like YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) have gained wide acceptance. Why then is it that Hindu associations are viewed with scepticism?

A strong community is an asset to any nation. A weak community will always be in fear and because of insecurity will become aggressive. It is the pride in one’s identity which strengthens the community. Identity is in no way contradictory to universality.

People often ask, “Will not the concept of global family, Vasudhaiva Kutambakam, contradict patriotism? Similarly, will your religious identity not conflict with your universality?’’ The answer is “No”. Your duty as a family man is not a hindrance for your realisation that you are Brahman. You don’t need to run away to the forest to realise “All this is Brahman”. Your being spiritual in no way contradicts your being a socially responsible citizen. In fact, it enhances your ability to care and share.

The conflict in the world is because people are either stuck in their identity, and die for it, or shy away from their identity and lose their roots. One has to opt for a middle path. The ideal situation will be when every religion transcends its identity. Until that time, it is unwise for the Hindus to let go of their identity. We cannot, and should not, eliminate differences on this planet. We need to celebrate the differences. And this is the uniqueness of Bharat — from the atheism of Charvaka to Bhakthi Panth and Sufism, it’s one beautiful bouquet.

An identity is related to an action. Denial of identity will dump you in inaction, sloth and lethargy and hence Krishna reminds Arjuna of his Kshatriya identity even while giving “Brahma gyan” to remind him of his duties and responsibilities. Otherwise while giving this High knowledge of the Self, why would Krishna remind him again and again of his limited identity. The limited identity in no way contradicts the universal one. A policeman cannot perform his duties — steer the traffic — if he fails to acknowledge his identity. Similarly, if a businessman shies away from his identity, he cannot function. The same is the story of Hindu identity. India cannot make a distinct mark on the world if it ignores its religious and spiritual heritage.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Leadership Qualities

This post is taken from Sri Sri Ravishankar's teachings. Thanks for the blog in http://raviguruji.blogspot.com/2006/12/his-holiness-poojya-sri-sri-ravishankar.html.

Do you have it in you?

The first major aspect of good leadership is letting go of control. Are you in control when you're sleeping or when you're dreaming? No! Are you in control of any other function in your body? Your heart is pumping all by itself. Your liver functions by itself. The food you stuff in the stomach gets digested all by itself. Do you have any control over them? Are you in control of the Sun and Moon moving around the globe or even the globe rotating on itself? Are you in control of the thoughts that come into your head? So, when you realize you really do not have any control over all major things that are happening in you life, you'll stand up and laugh. :-) Oh, what am I thinking, am I in control of something? Then you will realize that the idea that you are in control is an illusion. And then you relax. And that relaxed state is called surrender.What is surrender? A state of mind, where you are absolutely at home, totally relaxed, with no fear, anxiety, burden or problem. That state is called surrender.Surrender is our very nature; you don't have to do it. When you are in your natural state of childlike innocence, you are already in a state of surrender. When you cannot surrender, then you make effort, and effort makes you surrender. So when you say, "I cannot relax", I will say, "Ok, hold your fists tight and tight and tight." Then, when I ask you to make it tighter and you cannot do that, what do you do? Being tired, you just drop. This is coming to the other end with effort! For a leader, it is also important to be in the present moment.

So, what are the qualities of good leadership? How can you be a dynamic, confident and enthusiastic leader?

1. The first quality of leadership is to set an example.A leader doesn't just order things; he does it so that others can do it.

2. Second aspect is that a leader takes good care of those whom he is leading.

3. Third aspect is that he doesn't create followers. A good leader creates leaders. And then chain action happens. A leader should delegate responsibility.

4. The fourth quality is that a leader does not depend on authority. He just does a thing, whether authority is invested or not. It comes by itself.

5. The fifth aspect of leadership is that he does not worry about position. The respect that you gain through virtue is very different from the respect you gain through the position. The respect you get through a position is short-lived and temporary. But the respect that you gain just because of your smile, your attitude, your virtues are there with you all the time. You may be a chairman of this committee, a president of that committee, or you are barrister here or governor of that state - these are all momentary, temporary. They come and they go. And the respect you get because of this position is not genuine, it is not from the heart, it is not true. But the respect you gain because you are a nice person, is genuine, it lasts long. It is spontaneous.

6. The sixth quality is that a leader is alert and when challenges come, he is not disturbed. A good leader is one who does not drop things when challenges appear.

7. The seventh quality of a good leader is one who does not care for comfort, but who stretches himself beyond the comfort zone. Anything creative, dynamic and great can happen only when you stretch beyond your comfort zone where we are often struck. We think we cannot do something: just make an effort and put one step ahead, and you will find that that you are expanding your comfort zone. Creativity transcends your comfort zone. Or, when you step out of the comfort zone, your creativity comes into play.

8. The eighth aspect is, a leader should not mix head and heart. If you mix head and heart, you are in a mess! When you have to work, you work with commitment and you live with your head. In life, in situations other than when you are working, listen to your heart.

9. The ninth quality of a good leader is that he should be multidimensional and see from the other's point of view. Put yourself in other person's shoes, look from the other person's point of view.

10. The tenth aspect is that the leader doesn't depend on one-sided information. When you get some news from one side, don't take any decision or conclusion till you hear from the other side also. Leader should be a good communicator.

11. The eleventh is that a leader should have a direct approach. Twelth quality of a good leader is not to judge oneself. You have this tendency of judging yourself, "Am I good? I'm no good." The self-judgment is an obstruction. Stop doing that. Don't judge yourself. When you judge yourself, you are judging others also. Then you oscillate like a pendulum. If you feel you're good, then you are saying that others are not so good. So when you find that others are good, and then you feel that you are no good, you blame yourself. Judgment is very similar to self-blame and blaming others. We have to get out of this vicious circle of self-judgment. That is also the state of surrender. When you have surrendered to the Divine that means that you no longer judge yourself. Self-judgment is not necessary. A child is so innocent, why? Because the child doesn't judge itself.

The more we know, the more we will come to realize what we do not know.If we want to achieve our true potential and live life to the fullest, as Poojya Gurudev said it, "Open your eyes. Burst your shell. Spread your wings and fly!". Swami Chinmayananda - Hate not the sinner - hate the sin; and always hate the sin even with an excess of hatred."