Guiding Light by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Memory – blessing or hindrance?

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarUpdated: Sunday, January 22, 2023, 07:41 PM IST
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Memory is the faculty which stores information and experiences. We have used and misused our body, breath, mind and intellect for several years so much so that our whole system has been in turmoil and all this gets stored in the memory in the form of impressions. Memory is a hindrance when it does not let you be free of events, pleasant or unpleasant. Pleasant events create cravings and competition in the mind, and do not allow for fresh experiences; whereas unpleasant events create bias, fear and create paranoia.

How do we get rid of unpleasant memories?

*Know the impermanent nature of the world and events.

*Realise that past events do not exist in the present.

*Accept the past and drop it.

*Be dispassionate and centred.

*Memory of the Self is gained in the company and service of the Enlightened.

*Increase prana by yoga, pranayama, meditation. It heals everything.

Memory makes you miserable or wise. You are what you are because of your memory. If you are ignorant, it is because of your memory. If you are enlightened, it is because of your memory.

Memory is a blessing and your best friend when it comes to your true nature. The very remembrance of one’s nature, which is Godliness, brings freedom in life. The purpose of knowledge is to remind you of your true nature. In the Bhagwad Geeta, Arjuna said to Krishna, "I got back my memory. Now I have realised and will do as you say." Memory of experiences and events in the ever-changing world, however good or bad, constrict the vastness of the Self and bind you. Memory of your nature, the non-changing Self, expands and elevates awareness and liberates you.

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