5 Types and 9 Remedies


By: His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values


5 Types of Restlessness

There are five types of restlessness:

The first is due to the place you are in. When you move away from certain places, streets or houses, you immediately feel better. Chanting, singing, or the innocence of children playing and laughing can change this atmospheric restlessness. If you chant and sing, the vibration in the place changes.

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The second type of restlessness is in the body. Eating the wrong food, Vata-aggravating food, eating at odd times, not exercising, and overworking can all cause physical restlessness. The remedy for this is exercise, moderation in work habits and a one to two day vegetable or juice diet.

The third type of restlessness is mental restlessness. It is caused by ambition, strong thoughts, likes or dislikes. Knowledge alone can cure this restlessness; this includes seeing life from a broader perspective, knowing about the Self and realizing the impermanence of everything. If you achieve everything, so what? After your achievement, you will die. Knowledge of your death or life, confidence in the Self and in the Divine can all calm down mental restlessness.

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There is also emotional restlessness. Any amount of knowledge does not help here. Sudarshan Kriya helps! All that emotional restlessness vanishes. Also the presence of the Guru, a wise person, or a saint will help calm emotional restlessness.

The fifth type of restlessness is rare. It is the restlessness of the Soul. When everything feels empty and meaningless, know you are very fortunate. Do not try to get rid of it. Embrace it! This restlessness of the Soul can bring authentic prayer in you. It brings perfection, Siddhis and miracles in life. It is so precious to get that innermost longing for the Divine. Satsang and the presence of enlightened ones, soothe the restlessness of the Soul. Do not look for the Divine somewhere in the sky. See God in every pair of eyes, in the mountains, water, trees and animals. How? Only when you see God in yourself. Only Gods can worship Gods.

9 Remedies

Heightened awareness brings you close to the reality. And for this, you have to increase your prana*. This can be done through:

1. Fasting and eating fresh food

2. Pranayamas, Sudarshan Kriya, and meditation

3. Silence

4. Cold water baths

5. The right amount of sleep

6. Emotional contentment

7. Presence of the Master

8. Singing and chanting

9. Giving without Givership and service without Doership

All of these together is Yagya. When you have reverence for the whole universe, you are in harmony with the whole universe. Then, you do not need to reject or renounce anything. When you have reverence in all your relationships, your own consciousness expands; Even small things appear to be significant and big. Every little creature appears dignified. It is the reverence in every relationship that saves the relationship. Cultivate the skill of having reverence for every moment in your life.


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* Prana is the Sanskrit for "breath". In Vedantic philosophy, it is the notion of a vital, life-sustaining force of living beings and vital energy, comparable to the Chinese notion of Qi. Prana is a central concept in Ayurveda and Yoga where it is believed to flow through a network of fine subtle channels called nadis. Its most subtle material form is the breath, but is also to be found in blood, and its most concentrated form is semen in men and vaginal fluid in women. The Pranamaya-kosha is one of the five Koshas or "sheaths" of the Atman. Prana was first expounded in the Upanishads, where it is part of the worldly, physical realm, sustaining the body and the mother of thought and thus also of the mind. Prana suffuses all living forms but is not itself the Atman or individual soul. In the Ayurveda, the Sun and sunshine are held to be a source of Prana.


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