Guiding Light By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What Is Important And What Is Unimportant?

Guiding Light By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What Is Important And What Is Unimportant?

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarUpdated: Sunday, April 21, 2024, 10:27 PM IST
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Representative Image | Diego Ortiz/Pixabay

Too many people are stuck with what is important. Why do you always have to do only that which is important?

For something to be important, there need to be other things that are unimportant. So, you cannot eliminate unimportant things. Things are either themselves important or they make other things important. So that means everything is important, and everything is unimportant.

When you realise this fact, you become choiceless.

When you say something is important, you are limiting your vastness.

A journalist asked me, 'Why is it important to breathe? Why is it important to be happy? Why is it important to have peace?' These questions are not relevant at all. Why should you always look for what is important? Something that is unimportant can contribute to something that is important. And what is important and unimportant changes with time and space. Food is important when you are hungry and unimportant when you are full.

When something is inevitable, you do not categorise it as important or unimportant. It is beyond choice.

I would like to tell you a story about a saint. A thief once came to a saint and said, “See, I can’t stop stealing. I am a pathological stealer. What do I do?” The saint said, “Look, I’m not going to tell you not to steal, but I am going to advise you to steal with awareness. Whenever you try to steal something, first look at your hand and know what it is going to do, and then with that awareness, go steal something.” The man came back to meet the saint after three months, and said, “Swamiji, it was impossible! I could not steal with awareness.”

How can we increase awareness? There are simple things you need to observe and practice – take some time out to do very simple things in life, sometimes seemingly insignificant things, such as star-gazing, bird-watching, watching the sunrise or sunset, taking a walk, silently observing your breath. These are a few examples of simple exercises that we can easily follow to develop our awareness. Even in an everyday act such as eating food, you can inculcate awareness by eating slowly, paying attention to the smells and colours in the food and tasting everything you eat. Another method adopted to create that awareness is meditation, pranayama, deep breathing.

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