Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Can you tell me what is the right career for me?
Sri Sri: I leave the choice to you and give my blessings.
Q: You say that choice is mine and blessing is yours. How do I know I have made the right choice?
Sri Sri: Time will tell. If it has come with a blessing, it will be good.
Q: What if we feel we have got more in life than we deserve and are afraid to lose it?
Sri Sri: Be grateful and prayerful. Know that whoever has given it to you cares for you and would not take it away. Do service. Put your attention on giving back to society. This is giving back to God. If negative thoughts, insecurities, doubts come into the mind, chant Om Namah Shivaya. This itself will put you on the right track. Take the past as destiny and the future as free will. What was meant to happen, happened. We tend to do the reverse. People who are foolish think the past is free will and the future is destiny. This only makes you miserable in the present.
‘Om Namah Shivaya’ has been there for thousands of years. The five elements are represented there and each sound in the mantra corresponds to one of them. For instance, Om is the life force or divinity. Chanting energizes our psyche, our inner self. It is very powerful and we should chant this everyday. It will keep away depression. Just try this. You will see that whenever you are low, saying Om Namah Shivaya removes the negativity.
Q: I always run into obstacles when there is something I really want to achieve. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Whatever intention you put, that will manifest. Do not label yourself. There should be no “always.” Accept that you are unaware of your own potentiality. You may think you always have some difficulty, but thinking so is what points the intention in a negative direction. Just know that whatever you want will happen.
Q: How do I find strength in myself?
Sri Sri: Be well rested and have your heart in the right place. You need both mental and physical rest. Thinking “Oh I have done so much!” will only bore you down. Just know that you will have enough time and energy to do what you were born to do in this life.
Q: How do I come out of negative patterns in my life?
Sri Sri: Once you see yourself acting in a pattern, you are already stepping out of it.
Q: What is your advice to parents?
Sri Sri: Know how to ride a horse! When you sit on horseback, you must move with it. You have to rock with the motion otherwise your back will hurt. Parents have to rock. You have to swing with them, know them and gently guide. Sometimes you tighten the reins, sometimes loosen. It is the same with kids. Put your foot down sometimes, but also give them freedom.
Q: How to get rid of hurt and anger?
Sri Sri: Do Sudarshan Kriya, breathe, sing and meditate. There is no point in brooding. Move on in life. Don’t waste today for what happened yesterday. Wake up and say, “I have the valor and the courage to overcome this.” With someone else’s anger, you must play all your tricks to calm them. Then leave it to God. Educate and ignore. Give them some time. Ask for pardon and most people will not hold the grudge. If they do, it is only out of ignorance.
Q: Guruji, are we influenced by mistakes from previous birth? If so, then how does one prevent getting influenced by that or find a way to remove that influence?
Sri Sri: You don’t have to make too much effort. Just do your practices, your Sudarshan kriya, sing and meditate and all the bad karmas and impressions, they will get washed away by themselves. And with few advanced courses, few hollow and empty meditations, all impressions get released.
Q: Dear Guruji, I heard and understood the truth, but it is not my experience, please help me realize the truth . Yours truly.
Sri Sri: Good! Good to be in space of, “I don’t know”, then you have a chance of knowing. If you think, you know then you are stuck with the concept. In the Upanishad, it is beautifully said, “one who says, ‘I don’t know’, he knows, and the one who says he knows, doesn’t know!”