Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji how to handle a teenage child?
Sri Sri: Teenagers, when you have to manage them, you should know how to ride a horse - neither too lose nor too tight! Some times you let it loose, sometimes you hold it tight. So keep a balance.
Q: Guruji what is the difference between love and attraction?
Sri Sri: Attraction is short lived, but love lasts much longer. Love takes you in, the other is exterior!
Q: What can I do as a woman if even the elderly of the family have forgotten the tradition and traditional values?
Sri Sri: Whatever you want to learn, you can do it on the internet. Such a glorious age – one laptop and that is it. Google it and anything on earth is available! Knowledge at tips of the finger. I used to say that knowledge will be at the tips of your fingers. I didn’t understand why was I saying it and neither did those who heard me. All the information, not knowledge is there.
Q: How much importance should we give to Vaastu Shastra in our life?
Sri Sri: It is an ancient scripture which has scientific basis. It says which direction the wind blows, which direction the cosmic energies are moving. Unfortunately, we don't have the whole of Vaastu Shastra. Lot of it is lost, destroyed. So whatever we think we have and our Vaastu people have, we are making use of it. Take it with a pinch of salt. There is something interesting about it, there are scientific validations to that. There are scientific validations to ancient thoughts. Just that not explained scientifically. We need to understand some of the customs properly. More research is to be done.
Q: Can you please talk on the concept of Ardhnareeshwar and the symbolism behind Goddess Durga and Saraswati?
Sri Sri: Everyone has both female and male genes. You are made up of both your father and mother – Half father and half mother. Divinity is both male and female. This was acknowledged long ago and represented as Ardhnareeshwar. God is not just man, or just woman. He is Ardhnareeshwar – Whole creation is both male and female.
Goddess Durga riding on Tiger: Durga is the mother, so sweet and compassionate, and She is riding on Tiger – most ferocious. Completely opposite! Opposite values are complementary and ancient people recognized this. Scientifically, the whole creation cannot sustain even if one animal goes missing. Each of these animals brings down to the earth a bio-energy corresponding to a particular wavelength. A tiger carries the vibration of Goddess Durga.
Goddess Saraswati is with so many hands! In one hand, she carriers a rosary – rosary represents meditation, in another she carries a book – intellectual knowledge and with the others she plays a musical instrument – veena. Only when intellectual knowledge, music and mediatation come together, then wisdom dawns.This complete knowledge was there even several million years ago. Saraswati sits on rock meaning once you have acquired wisdom, it is deeply grounded in you. Goddess Laxmi sits on lotus meaning money is flowing – anytime anything can happen. Wealth moves and it should move.
Q: Guruji, what is Nirvana? Or better, give it to us right now!
Sri Sri: Nirvana is bringing the balance and having no feverishness for any desire. Desire means a lack. When you say, I want nothing, I am content, that is nirvana. But that doesn't mean you shun your duties. You perform your duties well but you are with your center. Even craving for enlightenment is an hindrance to enlightenment.
All emotions are linked with people, objects and events. Catching on to objects, people or relationships hinders freedom, liberation. When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are liberated. The state of nothingness is called Nirvana, enlightenment, Samadhi. Nirvana is getting back to me from mine. Who am I?
When you go deep inside you, layer after layer, that is nirvana. It is like peeling an onion! What do you find in the center of an onion? Nothing!
When you know that everything is changing - all relationships, people, body, feelings - suddenly the mind which clings on to misery comes back to you. The return from mine to me, gives you contentment and freedom from misery. Reposing in that state of contentment is nirvana.
Q: Here you are teaching about the organic farming and rural development, I would like to know about all this so that I can go back and start something.
Sri Sri: You can go on the Ashram tour. You can go and visit the pathshaala, the goshala. One of the best Ayurvedic hospitals is coming up here. In Ayurvedic College, there is an exhibition about herbs, how each and every aspect of creation can help us. They are very nicely done. They put the herb and how and for what it is beneficial. See when you consume a whole herb, it has a different effect. In allopathy, when you are extracting only a portion of the herb and not the whole, it doesn’t leave that effect. So, the chemicals used adversely affect the body.
Q: What are the most important 8 traits that a human should have to achieve any kind of goal?
Sri Sri: Why to fix it to number 8? You want me to list the 8 or stretch up to 8? Let us think.
First is fixing the goal itself. The mind is so wavering – so getting the goal fixed is most important. Then you have to fix the time frame. Then weighing the consequences - adverse and favorable and then your ability to adapt to changes. Ability to adopt the means to achieve the goals is important.
How many done? (Four) Rest you can look into.
Q: There are two concepts: Re-incarnation and heaven and hell. Please speak about them!
Sri Sri: Re-incarnation is very scientific. Matter and energy cannot be destroyed. Mind is energy! It has been scientifically proven that re-incarnation happens. You need to read more!
Q: When we take rebirth when does the old soul enter the body?
Sri Sri: Rebirth happens! So many times we have died and taken birth. Soul can enter the womb at any one of the three times: at the time of conceiving, or the 3rd month of pregnancy, or at the time of birth. Many souls race and from these souls only one gets the body. In a race only one comes first, right? Sometimes, there are two then there are twins!