Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Can love happen twice? Husband and wife are already in a relationship? Can husband or wife start loving someone else?
Sri Sri: Tell me are you single or married? Ok, so you are single. If you are married and your wife tells you that she loves someone else, then how will you feel?
(I will feel bad.)
If you flirt with someone else, she will feel the same. Once you decide to get married, then just be faithful. Before choosing you can look for suitable match, but once you decide, settle down. Is that a good idea?
Rise in love, don't fall in love. I see that so many youth, they are in love with someone and the person they are in love with someone else, so they make a whole emotional mess in the mind. Please don’t do that.
Love is eternal and life is eternal. If it is not coming to you in one form, wait it will come to you in another form.
Q: Is it very important for a woman to marry? Is it not ok to let God be her care taker? Can she still be complete even if she is not a mother?
Sri Sri: You can feel you are a mother to the whole world. Being a mother is in the very nature of a woman. That compassion, that love and caring will be there.
Whether she should marry or not, that is your decision. Most important is to be happy. That is my opinion. There are many who are single and happy, and there are many who are married and not happy, and vice versa! Choice is yours, blessings are mine.
Q: Will there ever be Men’s day?
Sri Sri: (Smilingly) For that too, you would have to pray to the Devi(mother Divine). Even demons ask for boons from Her, and angels as well. Once somebody was telling this joke: Once a man was asked who the owner of the house is, and the man replied saying he would ask his wife!
Q: Can you please talk on the concept of Ardhnareeshwar and the symbolism behind Goddess Durga and Saraswati?
Sri Sri: Everyone has both female and male genes. You are made up of both your father and mother – Half father and half mother. Divinity is both male and female. This was acknowledged long ago and represented as Ardhnareeshwar. God is not just man, or just woman. He is Ardhnareeshwar – Whole creation is both male and female.
Goddess Durga riding on Tiger: Durga is the mother, so sweet and compassionate, and She is riding on Tiger – most ferocious. Completely opposite! Opposite values are complementary and ancient people recognized this. Scientifically, the whole creation cannot sustain even if one animal goes missing. Each of these animals brings down to the earth a bio-energy corresponding to a particular wavelength. A tiger carries the vibration of Goddess Durga.
Goddess Saraswati is with so many hands! In one hand, she carriers a rosary – rosary represents meditation, in another she carries a book – intellectual knowledge and with the others she plays a musical instrument – veena. Only when intellectual knowledge, music and mediatation come together, then wisdom dawns.This complete knowledge was there even several million years ago. Saraswati sits on rock meaning once you have acquired wisdom, it is deeply grounded in you. Goddess Laxmi sits on lotus meaning money is flowing – anytime anything can happen. Wealth moves and it should move.
Q: Guruji, I have had a wonderful experience of doing the Part 1 course. I humbly request you to not enter politics and continue the good work that you are doing.
Sri Sri: I have no intention of going into politics. But when politician are doing something wrong, I have every right to squeeze their ears.
Q: Guruji, what is Nirvana? Or better, give it to us right now!
Sri Sri: Nirvana is bringing the balance and having no feverishness for any desire. Desire means a lack. When you say, I want nothing, I am content, that is nirvana. But that doesn't mean you shun your duties. You perform your duties well but you are with your center. Even craving for enlightenment is an hindrance to enlightenment.
All emotions are linked with people, objects and events. Catching on to objects, people or relationships hinders freedom, liberation. When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are liberated. The state of nothingness is called Nirvana, enlightenment, Samadhi. Nirvana is getting back to me from mine. Who am I?
When you go deep inside you, layer after layer, that is nirvana. It is like peeling an onion! What do you find in the center of an onion? Nothing!
When you know that everything is changing - all relationships, people, body, feelings - suddenly the mind which clings on to misery comes back to you. The return from mine to me, gives you contentment and freedom from misery. Reposing in that state of contentment is nirvana.
Q: 2011 will be yugantam (end of the world) according to many beliefs. Please speak on that.
Sri Sri: Yugantam is another transition of time. Nothing is going to happen.
Q: I am into a field of research where I try to figure out the reasons of chaos in the world. In one of my researches when I was finding some conflicting threads in various religious prevalent beliefs, I found both Lord Budha and Lord Shankarya Charya had spoken of Soul. Can you throw some more light on seeming different statements of the Masters as per different times?
Sri Sri: Lord buddha said that everything is nothing. Everything dissolves into nothing. He said, I meditated to see the soul and found no soul.
Shakaracharya said: “Who searched? Who found that everything is nothing? Who said I did not find the Atma? That is Atma. That is what upanishads say. Buddha says the whole universe is empty like the space, Shankara Charya says the whole universe is full like space - everything is in space.
Q: Here you are teaching about the organic farming and rural development, I would like to know about all this so that I can go back and start something.
Sri Sri: You can go on the Ashram tour. You can go and visit the pathshaala, the goshala. One of the best Ayurvedic hospitals is coming up here. In Ayurvedic College, there is an exhibition about herbs, how each and every aspect of creation can help us. They are very nicely done. They put the herb and how and for what it is beneficial. See when you consume a whole herb, it has a different effect. In allopathy, when you are extracting only a portion of the herb and not the whole, it doesn’t leave that effect. So, the chemicals used adversely affect the body.
Q: When someone has done something wrong and don't even realize it how do you forgive them?
Sri Sri: When you forgive then your mind becomes calm. Tell them with compassion and love, not with anger. If you become happy by putting guilt in someone's mind that is not good either. Tell them with love and then you drop it.