Words from Him

Words form Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living foundation

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Perfect Life

In a state of ignorance, imperfection is natural and perfection is an effort. In a state of wisdom or enlightenment, imperfection is an effort; perfection is a compulsion and is unavoidable!

Perfection is taking total responsibility, and total responsibility means knowing that you are the only responsible person in the whole world. When you are in total vairagya (dispassion), you can take care of even trivial and insignificant things with such perfection. Perfection is the very nature of the Enlightened one.

Knowledge will be different at different levels of consciousness. At a particular level, you will become anasuya (meaning ‘devoid of fault-finding eyes’. There is a certain mindset that always finds fault, even in the best of conditions. Even with the best possible companion, or the most beautiful painting, such people will still find something wrong. That kind of mindset cannot know the sacred knowledge.

The weaker the devotee, the purer the Guru needs to be. Krishna tells Arjuna that he is giving him the Royal Secret, because he is Anasuya. Similarly, Hanuman never saw any fault in Rama. From a distance, even craters cannot be seen. Even on a smooth surface there will be holes. If you are only interested in the holes, you will not see the magnanimity of things. If you are not in Anasuya, knowledge cannot blossom in you. Then there is no point in giving knowledge.

If you look for imperfection you can see imperfection even in Rama and Krishna. If Krishna had been living today then probably there would have been many court cases filed against him for telling lies, stealing etc! In Buddha’s life you don’t see any imperfection. Buddha lived a pure life not for his own sake but for the sake of the world, for the sake of the devotees.

For an enlightened person, if someone drinks or smokes, nothing will happen to his consciousness. In that state, all that you want is good for everyone, welfare for everyone and happiness on this planet.

In a perfect world, why is man so imperfect? It is so that you can become more perfect. Recognition of imperfections leads you to more perfection. This is a very delicate point. If you recognise imperfection you may just sulk and brood over it — ‘‘Oh, I am imperfect, imperfect and imperfect.’’ Recognise the imperfection in you and overcome it by seeing more perfection.

You have heard this before, that all is God and all is love. But then what is the purpose of life? If everything is God then where is life heading to? Life is heading towards perfection, isn’t it? We want perfection. There are three kinds of perfection: Perfection in action/work (kriya), perfection in speech (vachan), perfection in feelings/intention (bhaav).

Some people may be very good in their actions but inside they feel very grumpy and angry. Some may lie — ie, their speech is not perfect but they do their jobs right or they feel right. A doctor may tell a patient, ‘‘Don’t worry, your disease will be cured’’, but that may not be true. At times, the intention behind lying is perfect. For example a child asks his mother where his baby brother came from, the mother replies that she bought the baby. The mother’s intentions behind lying is perfect. If someone lies intentionally then the feeling is imperfect, the speech is imperfect and the action will also reflect the same.

Suppose someone makes a mistake and when you look at the mistake you get angry. Then you are no better than the person who has made the mistake, because there the action was imperfect, but here your feelings have become imperfect. Any action will have some flaw. But when the feeling becomes imperfect then it stays for a longer period. The innermost perfection is lost.

Many people who fight for human rights are fighting for a cause but inside, they get angry. Anger is as bad as lust and jealousy is no better than anger. From all these six imperfections (lust, anger, greed, entanglement, arrogance and jealousy) you think one is better than the other, but they are not.

Sadhana helps you maintain your centredness and not be shaken by small events. When someone screams at you, their speech is imperfect but don’t assume that their feeling is also imperfect. Don’t see an intention behind other peoples’ mistakes as then, the mind brings in more impurity.

That’s also Vikara, the distortion. Prakriti and Vikriti; the whole creation is made up of nature and distortion of nature. Anger or jealousy is not our nature. It is distortion of our nature. They are part of this creation but we still call them distortions, because they do not allow the Self to shine forth fully. And this is what sin is. Sin is not your nature and you are not born out of sin. Sin is just the wrinkle in the cloth. It needs proper ironing.

Lust is considered a sin because in lust, you treat the other person like an object. But in love, you see them as someone higher. Anger is a sin because when you are angry you lose your centre, you lose sight of the self. In guilt, you are limiting the small mind to an action that has already happened.

Be thankful that you have been bestowed with the qualities that you have because it is not of your own making. And these qualities depend on the part that you have been given to play. When you understand this basic truth, then your inner perfection becomes stable. It is said by some psychologists that ‘‘Deep inside you there is fear, guilt and anger.’’ These psychologists know nothing about the mind or consciousness. I tell you that deep inside, you are a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy!

Jesus got angry twice. He threw people out of the church and shouted in anger. Krishna once broke his own promise. He had vowed that he would not take up a weapon in his hand during the Mahabharata war. But when it became impossible to conquer Bhishma, he picked up his weapon, the Sudarshan Chakra.

The peak of every emotion, every sensation leads you to blossoming, to the innermost perfection. Don’t look for perfection just in actions. You name any action and I’ll show you that there is a flaw in that action. Even when you give alms or charity, you are bringing down the self-respect of the receiver. But perfection in feeling is possible. Perfection in speech is possible to a great extent and to a greater extent, perfection in action is also possible.

Even if the Vikritis come in your way, don’t give them too much importance for they are like the wrinkles in a cloth. If you give importance to somebody’s anger, greed or lust, then it’s not only in them but at some point of time it takes a permanent place in your mind.

For example, an animal has sex and after that it doesn’t think about it till the next season. But a man keeps on thinking about it in his mind. This is what Krishna says in the Gita on several occasions; ‘‘What has happened to your mind? If you nourish these Vikaras inside you they change from one impurity to another and keep multiplying inside you. Relax and know that you are not the doer.’’

See this whole thing as a drama. That is the only way you can remain in your centre.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Source of Thought

It is very important for us to probe into the source of thought. Often we are called great thinkers, but
* what is a thought?
* Where does it originate?
* Is there any way that we can improve the thought process?

Creativity is a hot subject today all over the world. We want to makepeople very creative.

* What are the mechanics to make people creative?
* Why does someone get a violent thought and why does someone get acreative thought?
* How can someone be a genius and someone not?
* What does this depend on? Is it the food, is it the exercise ordoes it depend on any other avenues or arenas?

But, we can create great thinkers. There is a question in front of us today and research is happening around the world about the very process of creativity. Great writers and thinkers have experienced the writer's block. You would have sometimes experienced that. You sitwith a paper and pen in a beautiful place, waiting for something to come... and many times they don't!

* What is the source of creativity?

Thought is nothing but an impulse of energy and intelligence.

That impulse of energy and intelligence, for it to arise and a correct thought to come, you need 16 impulses to meet at a point in the cerebral cortex at the speed of 10 to the power of minus 30 cycles per second. In that short interval of time, all the 16 impulses in the cerebral cortex,when they meet, is what we call a correct thought. What do we do about it? We need to train our brain, our mind.

Now, as you are reading this, are you fully with it? Now? 100 percent?No! As you are reading, you are having a dialogue in your own mind saying, ``yes, I agree'' or ``no, that cannot be''.

Are you observing this? We all have a filter in our mind and we listen through this filter and we accept only that we already know. Something, which doesn't already fall within our belief system, we straightaway filter them out. This tendency in the mind to take things which italready knows and reject that which it doesn't know, is one of the main blocks of creativity.

The second aspect for creativity is imagination. You will see that every creative person has some imagination. At that moment you will not think whether that is real or not. What appears to be unreal and an imagination in that direction brings creativity. If it is only animagination, totally disconnected with ground reality then also it falls short of that connection, that transformation, that unreal becomes real. Thomas Edison, once upon a time, dreamt of how to create light. It was purely an imagination.

Similarly, the telephone or plane — all these inventions happened through certain imagination and linking that imagination to the present creativity, present state of ground reality. If you are thinking only of the ground reality then no creativity will come and if you are only onimagination, then too there is no creativity. A balance is needed. See, life is also like that — a balance between our intellect and our heart, or feeling, or intuition. Listening to our gut feeling, developing that intuitive ability within us is another aspect of creativity.

So, when such blocks come into us, there is a way to eliminate them.How?

To study our own seven layers of our existence. What are they?

I call science as a study of ``what is this'' and spirituality as a study of ``who am I?''. They are not at loggerheads at all, they go hand in hand. So study about yourself, your seven layers ofexistence. What are they?

seven layers of our existence.

1. The body,

2. The breath — are you all breathing now? See, many times we are not even aware that we are breathing. That something, which keeps our body alive, we don't care to look into it. Our breath has great secrets to offer.

3. Then comes the mind. Mind is perception, observation and expression.

4. Then is the intellect — the judgement, the arguments, the agreement or disagreement that happens within us is all part of our intellect.

5. The memory — if you observe the memory, it stores the memory of unpleasant things much more than the pleasant. We take the insults and preserve it in our memory much more than the pleasant events. This is the nature of memory.

6. Then comes the ego — the more we study, the more learned we become; we become so stiff. We lose our smile, we lose our innocence, we lose our friendliness. Learned people get a sort of an ego — that I am much better than the other, more learned, I know better than them— this ego of ``I know better'' takes away certain beautiful things from your life. One should have a sense of belongingness with everybody, naturalness. Ego dampens one's personality. Today, what we lack is really good examples of personality. Knowledge is there in all the libraries — but what the books cannot transmit is the personal charisma, thevibration a person emits. The friendly and warm atmosphere a person carries along with him/her.

7. The seventh layer is the self. Self is that something that is the reference point of all changes in life. We notice that everything is changing in our life — our body, our mind, our thought, our environment, and our behaviour. If everything is changing then how do we know the change? Because there is a reference point, something that doesn't change, we are able to notice the change. And this reference point, the non-changing something that is in every one of us, I would call the Self. The scriptures would call it atman.

A little bit of knowledge about these seven layers of existence makes a big, big difference in our lives. It brings cheer, freshness, and we become so alive and childlike. If you are cheerful, you will be creative. Otherwise you are so dull.

The youth of today don't want to study more. Why?

Because they see the people who are well read, and have become great achievers in the field of literacy, science, they don't see joy in them, they don't see them as an example, and they don't see a warm, friendly environment atmosphere around them. So, I see many youth turn their face away from going into higher studies. This is the situation all over the world today.

We need to bring a scientific philosophy in the youth — and practical philosophy, which is not in the books but shines out in our own personality. In our country what we have really destroyed is the self-esteem in our people. Village boys and girls have zero self-esteem.This is because we have constantly, in many ways, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, drilled into them the idea that they are no good. Wear a pant, shirt, jeans, modern dress, only then you are good, otherwise you are no good — you are much less.
This idea we have been bombarding into their life through the media, through various means. I was telling the director of Doordarshan that we have Hindi newsreaders in a tie and suit — how does a villager relate to this? They think that only if I dress like this will I get respect.

We don't have to copy everything. If you see, our news reading is a copy of BBC or CNN.We need to bring in creative ideas. We should empower our village youth — bring them self-esteem. Without self-esteem there will be no creativity, without creativity there will be unemployment. The cause of unemployment in the country today is lack of initiative,entrepreneurship and all this is based on low self-esteem.So we need to bring self-esteem in our children.

Monday, September 25, 2006

On Navaratri

‘Nava’ means nine. It also means ‘fresh’ or ‘new’. ‘Ratri’,‘ra’ means giving solace or rest. ‘Tri’ means three. There are three types of botherations or problems that may affect a person - physical, mental, spiritual. That which gives you relief from all these difficulties is ‘ratri’. ‘Ratri’ or night relieves you and brings you comfort. It takes you into its arms and puts you to sleep. Even birds and animals go to sleep at night. The night relaxes everybody, whether happy, unhappy or miserable, everybody goes to sleep. ‘Navaratri’ means the new night or the nine nights that give you rest from all these three types of problems.
The nine days represent the nine months spent by the baby in the mother’s womb. It represents the evolution of the consciousness to a heightened awareness.
In life, there are positive and negative qualities that affect us. Navaratri represents how the negativity can be conquered by the inherent positive qualities in an individual so that one emerges as a divine being.
In the ashram, when such a celebration happens, it is done for the benefit of all of humanity. It is done with an intention that all the people should be happy; there should be good rainfall, prosperity in the country and so on. Many 'homas' are conducted with the chanting of 'mantras' creating an atmosphere of positivity and celebration.
'Mantras' remove fear from the mind. They break the thread of repetitive thoughts and bring the mind to the present moment, which is the field of all possibilities. The sound energy of the mantras charges the atoms positively. These vibrations are absorbed by every atom of our body.
'Homas' are ancient ways of purifying the individual and collective consciousness. They have three aspect; Devapuja -honoring the divine in all its forms, Sangatikarana -hastening the process of evolution by bringing together the elements of creation and Dana -sharing what you have been blessed with.
Women are celebrated during these days. In the Hindu mythology, the three deities Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati representing courage, wealth and wisdom are celebrated.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Awakened intelligence

In Indian culture, having a master was not just considered a matter of pride, but it was mandatory. Not having a master was looked down upon as being an orphan, being poor and a sign of misfortune. The word anatha in Sanskrit means one without a master. An acharya (teacher) gives shiksha, which means knowledge; Guru gives diksha which means heightened awareness. A Guru does not simply fill you with knowledge, but he kindles the life force in you. In the presence of the Guru, you become more alive. The pinnacle of intellect is awakened intelligence. The Guru invokes not only intelligence but also the intellect in you. Knowledge may not invoke intelligence, but in a state of intelligence, knowledge is inherent. The guru principle pervades your life. Your mother is your first guru and then from science to spirituality, from birth to death, guru principle permeates your life. There is a guru for every discipline - a religious guru (dharma), a family guru (kula), a rajguru (guru for the kingdom), a vidya guru (guru for a particular discipline) and a sadguru (spiritual guru).
In the Upanishads, five signs of a sadguru are mentioned. In the presence of a sadguru, knowledge flourishes (gyana raksha), sorrow diminishes (dukha kshaya), joy wells up without any reason (sukha aavirbhava), abundance dawns (samriddhi) and all talents manifest (sarva samvardhan). Once you have found a sadguru, remember that he or she is always there with you, watching and giving you wisdom. Spiritual path is not a path of learning more; it is a path of unlearning. There is no end to learning, but there is an end to unlearning and unlearning can be complete. Enlightenment is unlearning. Learning has no end; unlearning has an end. That means if the path is endless, then that is no path. The true path is one that takes you home and kindles that love deep in you. Only unlearning takes you home, but the mind is ambitious. It wants to learn; it wants to learn this and that. The ambitious mind keeps looking for new things and you get fooled everywhere. It cannot attain anything. It's the ambition that becomes a hindrance. An intention to learn more is essential, but you should not let it become too much, like feverishness. A little bit of salt in the food is good, but if the salt is more than a pinch, you cannot eat the food. It is the desire for something higher that motivates you, that moves you. If there is no salt in the food, you cannot eat that food. It doesn't taste good, and it's the same with too much salt in the food. Feverishness for enlightenment itself is also a hindrance. Attachments cause feverish breath and feverish breath takes away peace of mind. Real freedom is the freedom from the future and freedom from the past. When you are not happy with the present moment, you desire for a bright future. Desire simply means that the present moment is not alright. This causes tension in the mind. Every desire causes feverishness. In a state of feverishness, meditation doesn't happen. You may sit with eyes closed, but desires keep arising, thoughts keep arising; you fool yourself that you are meditating. Without fighting the attachments, observe the feverish breath and go to the cool place of silence within. As long as some desires linger in your mind, you cannot be at total rest.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

18 principles of Spiritual Life

When attention is given to the spiritual aspect of one’s life, it brings responsibility, a sense of belongingness, and compassion and caring for the whole of humanity. Spirit upholds and sustains life. It makes you strong and solid. It breaks down the narrow boundaries of cast, creed, religion and nationality and gives you an awareness of life present everywhere. It is only through this awareness, this uplifting of consciousness, that wars can be eliminated and human rights restored in the world today. How can these things be achieved? What are the main principles of a spiritual life?


The first principle of the spiritual path is to have confidence in yourself. Without confidence, achievement does not come. Doubt is what opposes confidence. Once you eliminate the negative, you will see that the positive has already happened. When doubt clears, confidence is there. So to gain confidence, you must understand what doubt is. If you observe the nature of doubt, it is always about something positive. You never doubt what is negative. You know this from your experience. You doubt someone’s honesty, but you never doubt dishonesty. You doubt the goodness of other people, but you never doubt their bad qualities. If someone says, “I love you very much,” you say, “Really?” But if someone says, “I hate you,” you never say, “Do you really?” Understand you r doubt as questioning the positive and having confidence in the negative, and know that if you are having doubt, there must be something good present. Approached in this way, doubt gives you a means to move ahead. I am not telling you to drop your doubt. Doubt as much as you can! Give it your 100%. That will help you through it. Once you cross this barrier of doubt, then further progress comes.

Stop Blaming Others and Yourself

The next principle is to stop blaming others and yourself. The spiritual journey is a journey to the Self, and when you are engaged in blaming yourself, you will not want to approach the Self. You will not be attracted to that. Without this movement toward the Self, toward spirit, you have a journey toward matter. The joy you get from matter is tiring. The joy you get from spirit is uplifting. You will find negative qualities within yourself, but you don’t need to blame yourself for them. Whenever you blame yourself, you are bound to blame the other, because self-blame cannot stand for too long. You will find reason to escape from it by hooking it onto someone else. This causes hatred to arise. And whenever you blame someone else, you are preparing again to blame yourself. There is so much blame being given today that it is dampening the consciousness of the whole world.

Praise Others and Yourself

The third principle is praise yourself and praise others. Praising others goes a step beyond not blaming others. Praising kindles spirit and the presence of spirit is uplifting to yourself, to the other, and the entire environment. In praising yourself or another, a space is created within you that is filled with joy. If you can praise yourself, you won’t need praise from others. Often we think that praising ourself is ego, but, in fact, ego cannot praise itself. Rather it hopes for praise from others. And understand that all praise goes to the Divine anyway. If you say you have beautiful eyes, who made them? Every praise goes to the Divine, the Maker. The act of offering praise expands consciousness. Something inside you opens up. Blaming shrinks consciousness. Since the spiritual dimension is an expansion of consciousness, of the mind, we do not want to counter that by blaming. Sincerely offer praise to someone and see how you feel.


Sincerity is the fourth principle. In all things, be sincere. Do not fool yourself and do not try to fool anyone else. You are not on the spiritual path for anyone else’s sake. Spiritual seeking without sincerity is empty. It brings no benefits. With sincerity, it brings peace, happiness and joy you can find in no other way on this planet.


The fifth principle of the spiritual path is responsibility. The spiritual path is not escape from responsibility, but taking responsibility. However much responsibility you have taken for your life, by that much you are on the path. If you think it is difficult to manage what has been given to you to do, more will be given! People mistakenly think that being spiritual is an escape from hard work. No. The spiritual path is marked by effective and dynamic activity.

Let Go of the Past

The sixth principle of spiritual life is the ability to let go of the past. See the entire past as a dream. Then you come to the present moment. You will find it is not necessary to make an effort to be in the present. The moment you let go of the past, your mind comes to the present on its own. In the present moment, spirit is kindled—even a little spark is made into a glow. When you cling to the past, the spark is covered with ashes. Be in the present and blow away the ashes of the past.


You need to know how to create a harmonious environment around you. You may think that your environment creates you, but in truth, you create your environment. See that what is, is. The acceptance of what is has two aspects. The first is the acceptance of the present moment as inevitable. It has happened as it happened. If you want it to be different, it can only become different in the next moment. Only when you accept what is and become calm, can you effectively change anything. The second aspect is to accept other people as they are. Whatever behavior they are exhibiting, see that it is the best that they have to offer in that moment. Be analytical. Look for possible explanations for their actions. And simultaneously take responsibility for your own. In this way, acceptance becomes dynamic and your environment becomes harmonious.

Confirmation of Your Own Death

The eighth principle of spiritual life is confirmation of death, the understanding that you are going to die one day. Because there is something deep within us that does not die, we may not fully comprehend the fact of our own death. The confirmation of death can bring you to the present moment. It can take you out of all the small temptations that keep you away from the present. Once you know that you are going to die, then the future will not haunt you.

Impermanence of Life

The ninth principle is the impermanence of all that exists right now—the impermanence of situations, circumstances, emotions and people around you. Knowing that all this is impermanent raises the level of spirit. You can act with more energy, enthusiasm and vigor. We think that if we recognize that everything is impermanent, it will bring down our enthusiasm and lead us to a state of apathy. No. The correct understanding of impermanence kindles spirit. Whenever spirit is kindled, you feel uplifted. Enthusiasm and dynamism are present.


Trust the supreme and infinite Intelligence which has formed this entire creation, from the cosmic display to the interplay of genes and atoms and molecules. Just in the arrangement of electrons, something becomes a flower and something else becomes a stone, something is gold and something else is charcoal. See that there is a basic substratum, an underlying intelligence, a unity, in this entire creation. And see that it is lively. We don’t see the universe as a living thing. We see only matter everywhere; in our eyes only objects appear. We know there is a magnetic field in creation, but we often see it as a dead field. Pure consciousness, that which is the basis of mind, that of which you are a part and everyone else is a part, is such a field and it is alive. Understanding, accepting and trusting the Intelligence which creates and sustains all things is the tenth principle of spiritual life. Unity in Creation When the human mind is stressed and tense, it judges, discriminates, loves this, doesn’t love that, makes boundaries. And in so doing, it removes itself from existence. This removal of existence from the flow of existence is called separation, but it is only apparent. Separation from existence is not possible. If a portion of a circle is removed, there is no longer a circle. See that you are part of existence, a fragment of the expression of the supreme Intelligence, the unifying force which underlies all of creation, all that is. This is the eleventh principle. Your Nature is Love and Peace When you understand the unity in creation, you don’t have to make an effort to love others. Love is your nature. Love is what there is. Nothing other than love exists. See that love is not an action that you do, not a moral obligation that you must carry out. See that you exist in love and everything else exists in love. And know that peace is also your nature. At any moment, in any place, you can just sit and let go, knowing inside you there is a pure clear space, vast and deep. That inner space is what you are. When you feel this, you are in touch with your spiritual dimension. “I have come from peace, I am in peace, I’ll go back to peace. Peace is my origin and my goal. I am peace, I am space, I am love” This inner affirmation or experience makes you a seeker. Knowing that your nature is love and peace is the twelfth principle.


The thirteenth principle of spiritual life is finding a balance between activity and rest—between enjoying your world and coming back to your self, and finding a balance between silence and speech. If you kept silent all your life, never uttering a word, you would not necessarily be living the spiritual life. You have been given speech. You have been given talents and abilities. Make right use of these things you have been given and balance that with meditation, the self-referral aspect of your consciousness.

Self Enquiry

Self-enquiry is the next principle of spiritual life. Start with awareness of the feeling of your own body —your own skin, the feeling of your skin under your garments, and under the skin your muscles and nerves and then bones. Do not be insensitive to life, like an animal who only eats, drinks and sleeps. Observe every sensation. Have the keenest awareness. In knowing your own body, you will come to know spirit—that which is different from the body.

Dispassion and Maturity

Keen awareness comes with maturity, or you could say, with dispassion. Maturity and dispassion come together. You cannot be mature and not be dispassionate also. Dispassion is often wrongly understood to be a flat, dull state of mind or a negative mood. It has the connotation of being aloof and disinterested. This is not true. In dispassion, you are aware; you are intimate with yourself. In maturity there is no fevershness. In maturity there is royalty, there is freedom, there is understanding, there is mystery. This is the fifteenth principle of spiritual life, gaining dispassion and living maturely.

Appreciation of Beauty

The sixteenth principle of spiritual life is to acknowledge the beauty in creation, the beauty in every person, the beauty within you, and to know this beauty in the nature of spirit. The mind runs after beauty, appreciates beauty, but there is a difference between appreciating beauty and wanting to possess it. In wanting to possess beauty, we lose our dispassion. Know it is spirit that is beautiful. Wherever you perceive beauty, spirit is there. If someone is beautiful, it is because of the spirit in them. A dead body is never beautiful. Attributing beauty to spirit and differentiating that from matter takes you a long way on the spiritual path.

Worshipfulness and Honor

The appreciation of beauty brings worshipfulness. You worship beauty, you adore it. Adoring and worshiping everything in creation as a reflection of the Creator is the next principle of spiritual life. And honor everything. Honoring is more than an emotional response. It is an attitude. It indicates a balanced understanding of life. When respect and love are both present, that brings honor. When there is honor, the mind is one hundred percent present and a sense of sacredness comes. Love and respect bring honor and honor brings sacredness. You cannot feel for something and not feel its sacredness. Sacredness brings alertness in the consciousness. Awareness comes.

Life is Imperishable

The final principle of spiritual life is knowing that life is imperishable. This is totally contradictory to the principle of knowing that life is impermanent, that everything is perishable. Now we say that life is imperishable; nothing can happen to it. Truth is always contradictory.