Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How to become a teacher of the ‘Art of Living’?
Sri Sri: Yeah, in the end of the course, there will be a list and whoever wants to become a teacher should give his/her name. If you want to become a teacher, you can.
Q: When two kids like to fight with each other, what should I do?
Sri Sri: Just join them! See that they don’t have sharp things in their hands. Children should fight, they fight and they come back again and they hug each other, they love each other, they can’t be without each other. But it is the adults, it takes them months, years and sometimes even lifetimes to shake hands. Kids are not like that, they fight a moment and next moment they are hand in hand with each other, better you don’t get involved in their matters. Children live in the moment, kids live in the moment, so they fight now and they forget now and this is the beauty.
Q: How do I let go of the past?
Sri Sri: We must always see the past as destiny, future as free will and live happily in the present moment. We do the other way round, what we do? We think the past was free will and the future is all destiny, and you remain in the present inactive and miserable, this is what foolish people do. What do intelligent people do? The intelligent people see the past as it is gone, done, finished and that was meant to be, it was destiny. Something good has happened and you have learnt something, and something bad has happened and you have learnt. Both ways you have learnt, so past is destiny. We can create future now, our spirit has the capacity to see what we want. Future is free will, we are happy and one with everybody in the present. We should find every reason to be happy but what we do, we do the other way round, we find every reason to be unhappy.
Yeah of course challenges come in life, pleasant things happen; unpleasant things happen so what, huh!
Q: A lot of spirituality text talks about controlling our mind and channelising our thoughts. But practically for most of us that’s a difficult job to do. Request you to give us practical tips on this.
Sri Sri: Ya, that’s exactly what we are going to do now. Meditation. You will know then how we will deal with the thoughts.
Q: Dear Guruji, I am in this course (advanced course) but this time around I slept through all the meditations. May I ask what is wrong with me?
Sri Sri: Yeah, not only you but others also notice that you are sound asleep. It’s okay. You know when your body is so tired, you must have been up late night and so much of stress might have accumulated. If you fall asleep never mind, that is why the program is for four days.
First reason could be that your body could be very tired, second the food must be very tasty and you must be eating a little more than required, and if you take yogurt and a little heavy food in the afternoon, sometimes then you will fall asleep. So, you can reduce the food, just one spoon less, two spoons less. Eat a little less food; drink more juice or vegetables or fruits. Third is if you lack oxygen, if you have not done some little exercise or take a walk, brisk walk or a little jogging in the morning then also this may happen. One or two rounds of bhastrika also help.
Q: How we all can make this world the best place to stay and when?
Sri Sri: I am happy that you have this thought and you are in the right place. Let us all join together, we will do some nice things.
Q: Course will be perfect without translation, when can we stop?
Sri Sri: Okay now listen, this is your concept. Just imagine if you were on the other side and I would speak only Chinese, don’t speak any English, and there would be no translation, then what would you do? ‘Oh, please let me have translation’. Don’t keep the concept in mind, ‘oh translation is bothering me’. No it does not matter, let it be there. Listen to it like music.
You know people who cannot read Chinese, we find it so beautiful when we go to Hong-Kong, because all these Chinese letters look like decoration. All the sign boards look like decoration, some rangoli or some designs. The entire Hong-Kong is decorated with design boards everywhere. It does not bother but if you know the language, you will be reading all the boards and it will be bothering you more. When you don’t know, it looks so nice.
Q: How to improve memory and be more creative and imaginative?
Sri Sri: How to improve memory? I will tell you next year, let me see whether you remember the question!
You do have good memory; If you think you don’t have, little more pranayama, and there are some ayurvedic things for memory, you can take Brahmi and Shankapushpi, these herbs are good for memory.
Q: Dear Guruji, I desperately need one good job and visa for some country, please help me!
Sri Sri: Yeah, you pray, you do meditation. Whatever you ask for, you are getting it, right! How many of you are getting whatever you desire? You wish and you are getting, your work is getting done. How many of your wishes are coming true? (many raise hands)
Q: How does one drop a tendency to judge people? How do you drop judgment?
Sri Sri: Oh!(laughs) it can stop by itself. Once you know you are judging, you only come out of it. See, you cannot do anything about the past. The moment you become aware I was judging, I was judgemental, you are already out of it. You simply see, when you turn back and see how many times you had judgements about people, and they all proved to be wrong more or less, most of them. So with your own experience, you grow into wisdom. It cannot be induced from outside. You have to have this from inside. You have to look back and see how was it. What did I do?