AUSTERITY

SHRI SHRI RAVI SHANKAR

Austerity is often mistaken to be poverty or self- denial. It is neither.

Austerity comes out of maturity. It is a sign of social health.

Often people who practice auste

rity are resentful of richness. This is a very pitiable state. Such austerity is not born out or maturity but out of compulsion. True austerity has tolerance for richness and is never resentful.

In fact, one who is mature will have pity for one who is not austere. Austerity is not opposed to celebration, and vanity alone is not celebration.

Celebration dawns in the spirit. Only one who is rich in spirit can practice austerity. One may be rich materially but if he is poor in spirit, he can neither celebrate nor evolve.

Poverty of spirit is vanity. Austerity brings freedom from the pride of vanity. But taking pride in austerity is again vanity! Austerity comes out of abundance, and austerity brings abundance. If you feel a lack in any area of life, immediately start austerity. Austerity not only brings freedom but also nurtures sharing and caring.

FOCUS AND EXPANSION Focus sharpens the mind and relaxation expands the mind. Just an expanded mind without sharpness cannot bring holistic development.

At the same time, just a sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration.

The balance between the focused mind and expanded consciousness brings perfection.

Sudarshan Kriya and the Advanced Course techniques are aimed at developing such consciousness which is both sharp and unbounded.

Seva and commitment play major role in this. Also food and attitude have an effect.

Expanded consciousness is peace and joy.

Focused consciousness is love and creativity.

A point of focused consciousness is individual self.

When every atom of the expanded consciousness becomes sharp and focused, that is the awakening of Divinity.

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