Seeker: I have shed my past with bad habits, but I still keep on smoking. In one way I enjoy the experience, other times I find it reduces me massively. Should I force myself to stop, or try to replace it with something else?
Guruji Sri Vast:
Smoking is not wrong. Drinking is not wrong. Nothing is wrong. The question is, “Why do I need that?” You are trying to forget yourself.
You see that by smoking, it helps you to forget. It helps you to forget this world, it helps you to forget your future, it helps you to forget your past, it helps you to forget your present. That means it reduces the influence of your mind on you. You feel free and wide-open and easy. In the absence of smoking, this mind becomes alive. Your future becomes alive, your past becomes alive, the world becomes alive in you – the world, which you feel is quite tough, quite a struggle, which you have to fight against, or fight for. To avoid that, since you are not managing those fights, you are smoking to free from those fights. Suddenly you feel open, flying and easy. Whether you are taking drugs, or you are chanting, you are trying to escape. One is to escape in the name of being cool, the other one is trying to escape in the name of spirituality.
You have to question – do you want to escape this moment? Every moment which you are living is meant to be alive, is meant to experience this life totally. I am meant to transcend this life. The thorn comes and it becomes a flower. Fear comes, it becomes joy. Doubt comes, it becomes hope. If you forget this world totally by taking drugs or alcohol, then you miss the chance to transcend. That is what our human life is about – transcending anything that is happening. Every moment is given as a gift to transcend that moment into beauty, transcend that moment into love, transcend that moment into freedom, transcend that moment into peace. With all these experiences together, you experience something sacred. Freedom, love, beauty – the mixture of these three becomes something sacred, something divine. This is the opportunity in every moment that you exist. This moment never comes back to you again.
Life is so beautiful, extremely beautiful. It is beautiful because it is not the way I want it. It is so much more beautiful than the way I see it, more than I can imagine it. Can you imagine this flower? There must be some experience, a strong experience to create such a color combination, such a beauty. One flower is creating so much joy in me. Wow! I want to do something with this joy. Life is amazingly beautiful! But we have learned that this life is in a certain order and life is supposed to be like this. When life is not like this, we are disappointed. But if you remove your idea of how life should be, then you can see that real life is taking place. Amazing! Life is open all the time, extremely beautiful with all its fragrances and colors.
By taking something to forget this life and forget yourself, and to feel good in that forgotten state, you are somewhere out there, trying to skip out on life.
You are smoking for what reason? To enjoy? Enjoy how? By forgetting something. It is not worth it. I am not saying smoking or drinking is wrong, but I like to see whether it is worth it or not. Like in any business. You go to the shop and you give one kilo of gold to get a mango. It is not worth it – you are losing so much. Apply the same logic to yourself. I am losing life to get this little experience of being in the state of forgetting, of being joyful. But what is the trade I am making? What am I paying? Life is too valuable.
All of life needs to jump into you. Every tree is giving something. Every tree is calling, “Come and sit under me. Climb on me, you can play. Sit under me I can give shade. One day I will give fruit. After that, I will give wood to you.” Every bench is waiting “Oh, please come and sit on me.” This cup of tea is asking, “Please drink me now!”
Everything is waiting. “Take me now. Take me now.” What about you? What are you waiting for? What is coming out of you? Get to know about it, “What is coming out of me? I am eating, I am drinking, I am getting sunlight. What is the outcome?” I am not asking you to become goal-oriented – “I want to help the poor people, I want to change the world, I want to do this, I want to do that” – I am not asking you to do that. The question is the experience you have – what is happening inside of you and what is coming out of you?
Is there any goal in life? No. There is no goal, nothing to achieve. But every moment I breathe, I want to breathe fully. Goals are in the future. I am breathing – there is no goal. The only purpose you have on this earth is to transcend. What is this transcend? The experience created inside of you by your senses, that experience is transcended in you. That’s it. The rest of the things are taken care of on their own.
A person tells me something scary. I become scared. I share it with another person and then I scare him also. And he scares someone else. It goes on. That means, the fear that was given to me, I added my fear to that, and I transported that fear to another person, who added his fear to it. This is how it goes. This fear becomes a big fear at the end. The other possibility is that someone was scared and out of that fear told me, and I transcended that, and through me it becomes positive. What I then share is not fear, but joy. That means the fear died in me, it was transcended.
Anything negative – any fear, any doubt, any pain – its death takes place in me and the joy arises from me, hope arises from me, bliss arises from me. It is a constant transcending. This is the purpose of life. There is no other purpose. It is constantly transcending: Anger comes, it dies, it becomes joy. Doubt comes, it dies, it becomes hope. Sadness comes, it dies, and joy arises. This is the life which is taking place naturally. It is not done with effort, it is done naturally. When a person transforms, his experiences are transformed, whatever he is sensing is transformed and whatever is expressed out of him is transformed.
Normally our life is so reduced – ‘me and my family, me and my people’ – the rest of the world becomes a stranger. This needs to be transformed. The whole world needs to become your family. The whole cosmos needs to be your family.
So, the purpose of life is this function: Whatever is coming, it is transcending. Through this act, you become Brahma, God of creation. God is continued. You become part of the continuum, so that life is not dead, life is still alive – it goes on and on and on. Through your thoughts, words and action, constantly you are creating. You have the opportunity to transcend or you have the opportunity to just pass it by.
There are two experiences. One is that I want to have it and I want to share it. The other one is that I do not want to have it and I do not want to share it. You have pain and you don’t want to have it and you don’t want to share it with others either. This tea is full of salt instead of sugar. I don’t want to drink it, I don’t want to give it to others. That means this stops with me. I am not going to share it with others because it is not drinkable. On the other hand, if the tea is so good, then I want to have it and I want to share it with others.
Two kinds of experiences. Negativity comes, it dies in you. Doubt comes to you, it dies in you. Fear comes, you do not want to feel fear. It is all taking death in you and from you something good is coming out of it. When happiness comes, it does not need to die because you like to have it and you want to share it. So it takes on a further life. You become part of that happiness. You become part of the peace, you become part of the freedom, so that you continue it.
This is how life functions. If you allow this function to take place inside, suddenly the whole world will look beautiful. Otherwise, wherever you go you will feel friction. Whatever you see you will see conflict. Whoever you meet, you will see the stranger. Whatever you are sensing, it is all disturbing you. If you transcend, it will be the opposite. You will feel home everywhere; everyone will look beautiful; whatever you sense will become an opportunity to do something with that.
Life is so beautiful. Smoking is not wrong, but for me, it’s not worth it. It cannot give. I tell you, no drug can give what I have. No drug can give you what you can really have, from you. By taking the drug you are skipping over yourself. Don’t do that. Life is not given to skip, but life is given to dive into it. So beautiful.
Fall in love with you, your presence inside. What is there to enjoy? My presence within me. Enjoy your own presence. Enjoy. Look in the mirror. “Ah! Guruji said ‘One sun, one moon, and one me.’ That means only I have this nose, only I can smile like this, only I can speak like this. There are seven billion hands but only one hand like this. Only I can feel like this. It is me. I am alive!” Be in your own uniqueness. There is no replica.