The second sign of love is talking about it constantly, praising it. A newborn baby in the house is such a joy for the grandparents and they won’t stop talking about it. And the same is with the parents, “Oh, look at the baby, 2, 3 months old baby, wished Jai Guru Dev, she folded her hands. She looked and you know, she said this, she said that, she recognizes this, she recognizes that. I was wearing a new outfit and the baby looked at me and said it is so nice. (Laughter) These are all the imagination of parents and grandparents. And they all say they have seen so many kids, but nothing like this baby. For them the baby is beyond anything in this world. That adoration...you should see the spark in their eyes when talking about their kids. They don’t mind if the other person is listening or not. They don’t even see that the guests to whom they are talking are thoroughly bored. But they don’t stop talking about their babies. Their baby is the best and the cutest, the most intelligent baby in the whole world. Never has something like that happened ever before. Parents feel like that, grandparents feel like that, isn’t that so?
Kathadishviti Gargah - that is another sign of love. Talking about your story, your passion - that is what you keep talking about.
Atmarati avirodhena iti Shandilyah - the Rishi Shandilya is known for just breaking all the rules. (Laughter) When no other rule fits, then that is called Shandilya Shastra, that means its own rule. You can find such rules in the streets of Calcutta, in India - everyone can drive the way they want, left, right or centre; anyway you want, you can drive.
Rejoicing without conflict. The moment joy comes in life, suddenly you feel guilty, “Oh, I shouldn’t be enjoying this, no, no, I shouldn’t feel good about me. I shouldn’t praise myself.”
And if someone praises you, you feel an expansion. As soon as you feel that expansion, suddenly something happens and you say, “No, no I shouldn’t be feeling like that, this is ego.” You think you are boosting your ego. These types of conflicts put you down. Self blame is the worst thing that can happen to a seeker on the spiritual path. If you blame yourself, how can you ever go near you? Because you never want to go to something which you blame, which you dislike. So if you blame someone, you cannot be one with them. And if you blame yourself, you cannot go deep into yourself. You cannot get in touch with yourself, your centre. In our society, we have made so many arrangements to feel bad about ourselves, blame ourselves - so much guilt, calling yourself a sinner and a hopeless person, good for nothing. And we think that this is humility. The so called humility we practice is nothing but boosting the ego in an indirect way. It is not humility at all. In the name of virtue, in the name of humility, we try to put conflict in our consciousness.
In the name of service, in the name of love, unknowingly we are creating more conflict in our consciousness. Then you can never settle peacefully within yourself. Meditation cannot happen within you.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation