Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Sometimes the inability to plan in advance and the resultingchaos is passed on as divine chaos. How to tackle such chaotic people?
Sri Sri: The person who has created chaos wantsa cover and in the cover, he will always say to save his face and position. Hewill bring up many justifications. So, you understand that position
- may be you’d be doing the same thing when you are in that position.Don’t depend on what people say. Most of our problems begin when we lock on totheir words and not their feeling or where they stand. A mother says to thechild, get lost and she doesn’t really mean it but the words that come are verypowerful and if the children take on the words, then, the child gets into traumaunnecessarily. I would say you should see beyond words.
Your communication should be more than verbal – it should transcendthe verbal communication. Even if someone says all nasty things to you, can youjust be grounded and keep your mind at calm. Then, you have achieved something.You are able to connect to people beyond their words.
Don’t expect that they should also connect. It’s always oneway. I tell you communication is always one-sided. You have the skill, you cancommunicate and you can receive it in that sense. You do not worry about whattheir reactions are, what they blabber.
They usually say all these blame games are blabbering andyou get caught up in this blame game. Someone blames, you get caught up in thisblame game. You stand up and say - I have the master key and I know whichbutton to press and how people will react and how things would change. Youshould have this confidence – the soul, the spirit in you is the master key. Itcan turn around the situation, the way you want it. You should have that faith.It may not happen five times but sixth time it will happen. It all depends onyour conviction and persistence. And don’t bother about what they say.
Q: So the courses you have introduced definitely help in depression?
Q: Could you please explain how consciousness is stronger thanmatter?
Sri Sri: Well, in the pressure cooker, when youare cooking, when there is more pressure – how is it built up? Water vapor! Andis that more powerful than water or not? So, subtler you go, the more powerfulthe things are. Now, this thing (Guruji shows the small silver cymbals in thehands) has silver molecules. When you break the silver molecules down, you getinto atomic particles, and, when you break them you get sub-atomic molecules,which is minuter than the minutest. Are they not powerful? Which is powerful –this cymbal is powerful or the atom is powerful? Atom is powerful.
The subtler we go, it becomes more and more powerful.Though, everything is made up of consciousness. This entire universe is made upof consciousness, when you become subtler and subtler, they become morepowerful.
Today I was watching a research done with water in Japan bya gentleman. He kept a little water in a bottle and took a photograph. Later hehas used the same water for prayer and then after prayer he has took aphotograph. You can see the impact of prayer - the subtle thought vibration hasgone into the water. It’s obviously visible.
He took a bottle of water and kept blaming it and then tooka microscopic picture of it. With another bottle, he said some pleasing wordsand you can see the difference.
In India, this process is called Abhimantra. You takea pot of water, place your hand on top and then chant mantras. The mantras aresupposed to be absorbed into the water. It is an old tradition in India. Whenyou go to any holy man or saint, you take a pot of water and ask them to blessthe water. Among the sindhi community, they do this a lot.
This Abhimantra - mantra chanting on the water - hasa huge impact on the water, because 70% of our body is water. In the Rudrabhisheka,water is made to fall on a crystal lingam while a particular chanting is beingdone and then it flows down. That water is very charged and it helps to upliftthe atmosphere.
Now it is visible in the microscopic images, the changesthat happen by these practices.
Similarly a gentleman from Russia came and conducted anexperiment in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu when they were doing the Aarti.He took the pictures and found that all the negative ions in the atmospheresuddenly disappeared; they turned into positive ions. It is the positive ionswhich bring changes. All these things are meant to create the positive ions; tobring the required changes. The same is the case with the use of fire. Duringfire ceremonies, when they put the mantra with the intention, there is aqualitative change that happens in the atmosphere.
Q: Is peace a state of mind in which no desire or cravingetc. arise at all or they arise and subside very fast. How to attain peacepermanently?
Sri Sri: When you drop this wanting permanency,there will be peace.
Q: Guruji, does choosing a Guru means one can’t follow theteachings of other masters? Can one have more than one Guru?
Sri Sri: Oh! It’s so hard to manage one Guru,how can you…! (laughs) It’s not easy. Respect everybody but follow one path.Honor everyone and you will see, all the masters have said the same thing.There is only one truth, so, they have said the same thing, but the methods aredifferent as per the needs of the time.
You don’t have conflict when you are on this path. Whicheverpath you were there, they have blessed you and that’s how you have come here.You have served those paths, those teachers, those masters and their blessinghas brought you here, with this conviction you move forward. Ok?
It’s just that if you keep trying everything, you get soconfused! So, I would say, see one in all and all in one as a principle.
Honor everyone and follow one path.
Q: Guruji, how do we handle situations where we feel we havebeen blamed unfairly?
Sri Sri: Just with a smile. In this world,there is place for ignorance also. If someone is blaming you, it is out oftheir ignorance. And if it is not ignorance, it is mal-intention or jealousyand I would club all these emotions as part of ignorance. So, the best is you moveon and don’t get stuck because you have no way to control other’s opinion andyou don’t need to - everyone can have their own opinion. The best formula is toeducate and ignore. You have to; if someone says, you are a thief, you can’tsay, let him have his opinion. You educate him. If they believe it or not it’sup to them. So, keep this as a formula in every relationship. Educate andignore. If you just ignore in the beginning, you will only exhibit arrogance.Educate is also a little strong word. You can say inform and ignore, which iseven better. In education, there is more effort. In anger, people say, I willteach him a lesson.
Q: How to take full responsibility for your actions withoutfeeling doership?
Sri Sri: When you are taking responsibility,just take the responsibility. Doership means brooding over the consequences.
Whatever has happened, the moment you take responsibility, youare empowered. You come to the present. You have already accepted theconsequences.
When you are in action, don’t get into this philosophy ofdoership or non-doership else the mind gets confused. When you act, you acthundred per cent. When you are acting hundred per cent, suddenly you willrealize I am not doing, it is all happening. Non- doership is an experience;it is not something you try to do or achieve.
Q: The soul takes staying forever and takes birth tillgetting moksha. Then, who lives in hell?
Sri Sri: Why do you want to explore hell now? Ihave never been there, so I can’t tell you what it is.
Q: Dear Guruji, I’m feeling so lost in this world. Youalways say, ‘Life must be juicy’. But there is no juice anywhere. In everywork, there seems to be complete emptiness. Don’t know what to do, where to go?Please guide.
Sri Sri: You are in the right place. Just behere. Is it not juicy here? Is it dry and empty? Of course, it’s hollow andempty when you sit and meditate. But now, you see it’s so celebratory and fun.No one can ever say its dry here.
Look at everyone and the smile on their face. Yes, when youwant to take something from the world, the world will appear to be completelydull and lack. But when you want to contribute, the picture changesdrastically!
Q: What is unconditional love and how can we love a personunconditionally, and when can we do that?
Sri Sri: When you don’t want anything inreturn, that is called unconditional love. Not even a thanks or a sense ofgratitude or gratefulness. A lot of times people help others but these littleexpectations are there and that is what bugs them and pulls them down. That is alsoa condition.
Unconditional love comes naturally as your consciousnessblossoms. You can’t force it on yourself or cultivate it. I don’t know how tocultivate it. It’s simply a phenomenon. When your consciousness expands, rises,then, what comes out of it is unconditional love. You say, I’m here for you andI want nothing from you. This comes to you and it has come to you with some peoplebut with many others, you have some expectations.