Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How can someone free the body from an overactive mind?
Q: How can you find a purpose for living if you have lost your self-respect?
Sri Sri: The Self is not lost, so the self-respect is not lost. Come on, wake up. You are loved and accepted by many. You are a precious flower of this planet. Do something useful. Do not think only about yourself.
Q: What is the solution for peace in Afghanistan?
Sri Sri: Remember there were Buddhists there. The forefathers of Afghanistan were pioneers of yoga and meditation. Just realizing this, people would become less fanatical and more broad-minded. By thinking only they will go to heaven and all others go to hell, they create hell for others. We need to be broad-minded. Every child should know a little about the Upanishads, Quran, Guru Granth Sahib and so on. The holy book Guru Granth Sahib, for example, contains the essence of all the Upanishads. So it is very important that every child should know about the Guru Granth Sahib. They will grow up with a broad mindset. The sacrifice that Sikh Gurus have made is unthinkable. Without that, yoga and meditation would have disappeared from this planet. The Sikh Gurus lived a life of sacrifice. They protected the Brahma knowledge, the universal knowledge. Every child should know a little bit about this.
Q: How can one find the purpose of life?
Sri Sri: Become calm and listen to your inner self. Do you all have cell phones? What do you need for the cell phone to work? If there is no SIM card, will it work? If there is a SIM card, but you are far away, will it work? You need a SIM card, signal and the battery must be charged. So all three are required: battery, SIM card and closeness to the tower.
Even if you have all three but you don’t dial, will it work? You need to do that much. The spiritual connection is the tower. Self-effort is that little dialing and meditation is charging. Then our prayers will be answered. Sometimes the prayers are not answered. Why? Because there is no SIM card. You have the ability to bless and grant others’ wishes when the mind is serene.
Sri Sri: Your desire for perfection is the cause of anger. Leave room for imperfection. Perfection in action is almost impossible. Only 95 percent perfection is possible in action. Though, perfection in speech and mind is 100 percent possible.
Q: I just want to thank you for all the blessings. Why is that every time I see you I cry?
Sri Sri: Oh my god, you are taking away my reputation! Every time people see me they smile. Yet tears of love and gratitude are also very precious. When the heart opens it brings tears to the eyes.
Q: I feel very uncomfortable in the presence of some people even if they are total strangers. Why does this happen?
Sri Sri: Take it as an exercise. Meditate. Go deep into yourself. You will find this discomfort goes away. You give it too much importance. If you realize you are bigger, the vibrations will change. When you change they will also change.
Q: Whenever I meet you, I don’t feel satisfied. I feel you give more time to others than me. Today also in darshan line, you never looked at me and moved ahead. And whenever I get a chance to talk to you, I just don’t know what to talk! Then I think, “Oh! I forgot to ask this, forgot to tell this”. The analysis starts in my mind. What to do?
Sri Sri: How can I not see you? I leave none unseen, I see each and every one-all who come to visit me in the darshan line. And you forget to ask or tell anything on meeting me, that’s OK. You have told it now, got your chance, yes?
Q: I have seen people around you grow beyond their capacities. How do you motivate and inspire them?
Sri Sri: The president of the World Bank asked me the same thing, “How come all your projects find success? We also start many projects, but all do not find success.” It is not just the money, but your intention, attention and clarity that work. If we change the way we look at things, we find everything starts from within. If they are better inside, they get better outside. You become the agent for change.
Q: In a world full of jealousy and hatred, how do I go on a path of humbleness and serenity?
Sri Sri: Don’t label the world. Some people are this way, but don’t pay too much attention to them. Just move on. Let them get cooked in their jealousy. It is alright. That which you put attention on, will grow. Manifestation follows intention and attention.
In the 55 years of my life I have never said a bad thing about anyone. It is my nature. At the most I would have said stupid. I never said or wished bad. If your intention is clear, I tell you, you will move on. If someone is jealous, what do you do? Just move on. Your attention should be on something higher, on the blossoming.