Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What do we mean by being a Yogi?
Sri Sri: Yogi means being like a child again. Same is what Ashtavakra is saying: No craving, no aversion, no attachment can cover self knowledge.
Q: Whatever you preach sounds very good. Bur at times I find it difficult to implement. What should I do?
Sri Sri: You do not do anything which is difficult. Easy go lucky. Spirituality makes everything easy. Everything in the ‘Art of Living’ makes life easy. There are certain things which are easy to begin with but later on turns to be difficult. There are certain other things which may appear to be difficult in the beginning but later on makes everything easy. Spirituality is the later one.
When you were kid, you were forced to brush your teeth. Suppose you had not undergone that, what would be the scenario of your mouth now? Half your teeth would have dropped. Like this you may find it difficult in the beginning but it makes things easy later on.
Q: I wish to spend some time with you, sit with you and talk. I want to travel with you. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Fulfill those desires which you can fulfill, and surrender those which you can surrender. Fulfillment of any desire requires effort and time. When you surrender, your desires automatically get fulfilled. Some desires are fulfilled after desiring for long time. And some are not fulfilled even then. Sometimes you find it good later on that some of your desires were not fulfilled. Have this faith that Divine knows what is best for you. Neither criticize desires nor get swayed with the desires. Is it ok? This is the middle path. As you become more aware, everything else automatically starts becoming peaceful.
Sri Sri: You are both matter and spirit. Are you only matter? Your body is made up of matter – carbohydrates, minerals, amino acids etc. Your spirit is made up of joy, peace, enthusiasm, intelligence and other distortions like anger.
Anything which enhances the spirit is spirituality.
Anything that brings energy in you is spirituality.
Anything that makes you intelligent is spirituality.
Anything that uplifts life force in you is spirituality.
Anything that brings care and compassion is spirituality.
Anything that connects you with the universal spirit is spirituality.
Q: Your presence gives so much peace and joy. I want to always have the same joy. What should I do?
Sri Sri: When you remember your experiences here, you relive that joy wherever you may be. All other experiences of the world get dissolved with the impression of devotion.
Q: Why to turn vegetarian to practice spirituality? Don’t I need proteins to follow spirituality?
Sri Sri: There is more than one reason for the same. There are different animal groups. Some are scavengers which eat dead animals. Some kill and eat fresh flesh. Some animals eat only vegetarian food. The most powerful land animal, elephant, is vegetarian. Horse, cow, Gorilla, Hippopotamus are all vegetarians.
So, you find this nature. Our system is made for vegetarian food. There are many logical and scientific explanations. People world over are turning to be vegetarian. You don’t want to make your stomach a burial land? You can change your whole diet and you will find how intelligent and genius you turn out to be. Most scientists, especially the genius ones like Einstein were also vegetarian.
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Q: All people have so much faith in you. Suppose you say that you are not a Master, then what would happen to their faith? I am not saying this is the case but I am trying to frame a situation that took place in my life. How to react if somebody says that what you believe in is not right?
Sri Sri: You have imagined a situation in mind, Faith is that which is not shaken by doubts. Doubts are like clouds in the sky, they come and go. Even if you undergo 1000 such situations, somewhere your heart tells you what the truth is.
If anybody tells you anything, would you believe it? If you have ache in your foot, would you believe that your foot is not aching even if I say that? There are some experiences in life which your heart refuses to doubt even if the whole world tells you to doubt that.
In a way it is good if you have doubts. You get an opportunity to grow strong in the fire of doubts. Withstanding doubt makes you strong.
Q: What is the difference between desire and resolution?
Sri Sri: All the work in life happens through intention. You had this intention in mind to come here, and then only you could come here. If something keeps on bombarding your mind and doesn’t let you sleep, then that is desire. You should not think that one should have no desire in the mind. Resolve to accomplish bigger tasks. Take on greater jobs in your hands. But you should also keep those aside at times and relax for some time.
Q: What does – ‘Dhiyo Yona prachodyat’ mean in the Gayitri Mantra?
Sri Sri: Let Divinity flow through this intellect; let only good thoughts happen through the intellect.
Sri Sri: Your mind gets focused with love. Greed and fear also focus your mind. I prefer love over other two.