Buddha Sangha Dharma & You: A talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

On the Spiritual path, there are three factors:
Buddha - the Master or the Enlightened;
Sangha - the commune or the group; and
Dharma - your nature, your true nature.

 Buddha - the Master or the Enlightened
The closer you go to Buddha, the more charm you find; you will never be tired of the Enlightened. The closer you go, the more newness, the more love you feel. It’s like a depth without a bottom.

The Master is a doorway, and the doorway needs to be more charming than the world so that people will come to the doorway. Someone is in the street and there is rain and thunder, or hot sun. They need shelter. They look around and find a doorway. The doorway is more inviting, more charming, more celebrative and more joyful than anything else in the world.

Nothing in the world could give that much peace, joy and pleasure. Once you come to the doorway, you enter the door and see the world from there, from the eyes of the Master. This is a sign that you have come to the Master. Otherwise, you may still be standing in the street and looking at the door.
Once you have entered, you will see the whole world from the eyes of the Master. What does this mean? In every situation you face, you will think, ‘If this situation comes in front of the Master, how would he or she handle it?’ ‘If this complication comes in front of the Master, how would he take it?’ ‘If someone blames the Master like this, how would he handle it?’

See the world from the eyes of the Master at all times. Then the world looks so much more beautiful; it is a place filled with love, joy, cooperation, compassion and all virtues. The world is much more fun. Looking through the doorway, there is no fear, because there is shelter.

From inside your home, you will look at the thunder, you will look at the storm, and you will look at the rain. You will look at the bright sun; inside you have air conditioning. It is very cool and pleasant. Outside it is hot. You don’t mind because there is nothing that can really distract you, disturb you, or take the fullness away from you. Such a sense of security, fullness and joy comes, that is the purpose of having a Master.

All relationships in the world go topsy-turvy. You make relationships and you break them. Then there is craving and aversion. This is the world, this is samsara. However, the Master is not a relationship; the Master is the Presence. Don’t make the Master a part of your world. Feel the Presence of the Master - that is eternal. It has been with you before, it is there with you now, and will be there in the future too.

The second factor is Sangha, the group. The group is very charming from a distance, but the closer you get, it pushes all your buttons and brings about all the unwanted things from within you. Any group is very good from a distance or with just a little acquaintance. If you think some group is very good, then that means you are not yet completely with the group. When you are totally part of that group, you will find that some bickering will come up. That’s why you find the other group to be better than your group; but you make the group -so if you are better, your group will also be better.

Sangha has a reverse nature to Buddha. Once you are used to a Sangha, it loses its charm. Buddha makes your mind one-pointed; Sangha, because it includes so many people, can scatter your mind, fragment it. This is the nature of Sangha, though it is very supportive. If it were repulsive all the time, then nobody would be part of the Sangha.

Buddha uplifts you. With Grace, with Love, with Knowledge, He pulls you up. Buddha pulls you up from above, and the Sangha pushes you up from down below. The Dharma should be in the middle. Not going to any extreme is your nature. Your nature is to be in balance, to smile from the depth of your heart, to accept this entire existence totally, as it IS. Do not crave or be averse to anything. Often you crave for Buddha and are averse to the Sangha, and you try to change; but by changing the Sangha or Buddha, you are not going to change.

Third component is Dharma:
The main purpose is to come to the centre deep within you, which means to find your Dharma. This is the third factor. What is Dharma? Knowing that “this moment” is what has been offered to me by my life, and that is how I take it. A sense of deep acceptance for this moment, for every moment, is Dharma. When this has come up then there is no problem at all. All the problems generate from our mind; all negativity comes in from our mind.

The world is not bad; we make our world ugly or beautiful. So, when you are in your Dharma, in your nature, you will not blame the world and you will not blame the Divine.
The difficulty of the human mind is that it cannot be part of the world totally, and it cannot be part of the Divine. It feels a distance from the Divine. The world is its own creation and yet it feels like blaming the world. It’s not comfortable with the world. Dharma is that which puts you in the middle and makes you comfortable with the world. It allows you to contribute to the world, be at ease with the Divine, and feel that you are a part of the Divine. That is true Dharma.

This is a talk given by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is Spiritual Leader & humanitarian leader.

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