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The Nature of Divinity

The Nature of Divinity - The Art of Living Retreat Center



Names are a way of looking at things so that we do not mix things up. From a quantum physics angle, we look a chair and say, “this is wood”, but when we look at it from a practical standpoint, a chair cannot be a table or a ceiling, and the ceiling cannot be a door, even though they are all made of the same wood.


Everything is karma

In the same way, there are two things: one is the absolute truth, and the other is the utilitarian truth. In the utilitarian truth, there are differences, and in the absolute truth, there is no difference. If you say everything is karma, then asking is karma; answering is karma; listening is karma; not listening is karma; doing is karma; not doing is karma — everything is karma.


Divinity defined

There is one beautiful prayer that is done in most schools in India. It’s a Sanskrit prayer, but it is also interfaith. It says “yam shaivah samupasate…”. The Shaivas call that principle Shiva, and the Vedantists call that Brahman, and the Jains call it karma: “bauddhah buddha iti pramanapatavah karteti naiyayikah.” The Buddhists call this the Buddha nature: one who is the giver of everything to everybody, one who is ruling all three worlds, the waking, dreaming, and sleeping. To that divinity I pray.


This divinity has no gender. It is faceless and has many different names: Brahman, energy, Buddha, God. But it is the one principle overlooking us, and I bow to it.


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world.  He has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life and he has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.



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