Gurudev, what is the easiest way to overcome thoughts of obsession, lust and desire?
Sri Sri: Keep yourself busy.
Put your passion to a bigger cause. Be passionate about creating something or making something.
Be busy in spreading knowledge, and spreading Dharma. Day and night think of how you can reach out to people, and do some good work in life. Or write articles, write music; songs.
When you are so busy then you will find that obsessions do not bother you.
Especially the youth must keep themselves utterly busy. From morning when you wake up till night if you keep yourself very busy, none of this will bother you.
That is how we were; at the age of 20 to 25, I was so busy. From six in the morning to one or two at night, I would be on the run.
So, keep yourself very busy, especially in the age when the hormones play havoc. You will find that you can easily sail over all those obsessions, lust and everything.
Gurudev, how to discourage teenagers from social drinking?
Sri Sri: Tell them it is the most dangerous thing, whether it is social drinking or private drinking, it doesn't matter. Just say no to that, that’s it, finished!
In fact you should take pride in saying, ‘No’ in a social circle.
If you attach pride to it, ‘I am a teetotaler, I never touch alcohol’, then you gain a certain dignity even amongst your friends.
You should emphasize your own values. Even when in a group, carry on with your individualness and your individual preferences.
We do that all the time. We go to all these big meetings, everywhere, we keep our individual preferences.
You know the world has started recognizing this. Whichever institution that gave me a doctorate, in several places, and wherever I went, just to honor me they kept only vegetarian food and no drinks.
Usually in the universities they keep drinks and non-vegetarian food. But wherever it was that I went, whether Cordoba, or Netherlands, or the Nyenrode University, when they gave me a doctorate, in the reception they served only vegetarian food and soft drinks.
Even in very big conferences in the world, like the UN conference on HIV-AIDS, they have started keeping a section for vegetarian food. This was never the case earlier.
Even in The World Economic Forum, if you are vegetarian, they honor it, and have a separate section for vegetarian food.
This was not there before. About 10 to 20 years back, this was unthinkable. Even 10 years ago you would not find this in international forums. But now it has changed and this is because we have always stood our ground that we will not touch alcohol and non-vegetarian food. And the world honors that. So your friends will also honor that.
Even in airlines they have started doing this in the last 10 years. Before it was not so. Now, they even have Jain food on airlines, i.e., with no potatoes, carrots, etc.
You can specify what kind of food you want.
So, you must keep your personal habits and emphasize on them. Otherwise, first you start with social drinking and then slowly it becomes a personal menace.
Dear Gurudev, what is the difference between self-inquiry and judging yourself? You sometimes tell us to stop judging, can you please elaborate?
Sri Sri: You should take the middle path.
There are some who justify their actions all the time, and some who finds fault with themselves all the time. Both will create a sort of imbalance.
You should take a middle path, where you can look into your actions and see how you can improve and at the same time look forward.
See what you want to do, move forward and drop the past. Don't go on doing postmortem of the past all the time.
You should look at the past only this much (gesturing ‘a little’ with his fingers).
See, it is just like, how in a car, you have a windshield which is big, and a rear-view mirror which is small. Just imagine if your rear-view mirror is big and the windshield is small.
That is the situation of your car now. Your rear-mirror occupies half the wind-shield or even more than that and so you keep looking back only. That is not right.
You need to look at the past a little, and more forward.
This could be the best example. Think about your car, the windshield and the rear-view mirror. You need only a little back view.
Dear Gurudev, what should a seeker aim for? Or should a seeker just be, and let nature takes it course?
Sri Sri: Yes that is it, just be! You are in the right place, just be and see how things go on.
Gurudev, I understand detachment and selflessness on an intellectual level, but I find it difficult to practice. What do I do?
Sri Sri: Life will teach you that lesson.
When you are too attached to something, without wisdom, it brings you more pain.
My dear Gurudev, sometimes the expectations of people around me and my own expectations from myself don't let me be natural. What to do to become natural?
Sri Sri: Only sometimes, not all the time, isn’t it?
If it is all the time then I will give you a solution. Sometimes it is okay.
As you grow more in wisdom, as you see the dream nature of the world – that everything is like a dream, everything is passing, everything is changing, then events will bother you lesser and lesser.
The only way to be untouched by events is to see the whole phenomenon as a dream which is passing.
Gurudev, the servants of Lord Narayana, Jai and Vijay were doing their seva, but even then they got cursed. If one is only doing their seva, even then are they entitled to a curse?
Sri Sri: Hidden behind those curses was the highest good of mankind. There has never been any damage or loss because of a curse from a saint. It is because of these curses of the saints that this world was benefited so much – Lord Rama and Lord Krishna came, and all that followed happened.
That is why it is said – even the love of a fool can give rise to problems, and even the anger of saints can bring with it blessings.