Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: A question from someone on ART Excel Course: When the cops or anyone in the military shoot or kill anyone in war does it count as their good or bad karma?
Sri Sri: Let us take the policeman. A policeman is doing his job to keep peace in society, so it is not a bad thing. In the military, one who is following orders, is only doing his job. The man who gives the orders, gets the karma.
Q: Beloved Guruji, I see you in my thoughts and my dreams. I am free and completely surrendered in my thoughts and dreams. But why is my experience different when I meet you here. Also why don’t I get to spend time with you in person?
Sri Sri: You are spending time with me here. You take up some project and you will definitely get to spend time with me.
Q: An ‘Art of Living’ teacher once said that God created us and He is perfect. So, we are perfect. That’s believable. We are perfect, so shouldn’t an engineer’s work be perfect? How come it is not?
Sri Sri: The question is perfect and the answer is even more perfect. Everything in the universe is moving from one level of perfection to another level. Milk is perfect and when it turns into yogurt, yogurt is perfect. You take out cream from yogurt, and that is perfect, and then you make butter, and that is also perfect. This is one way of looking at it. The other side of looking at it is, the milk got spoil and you make cheese out of it. When yogurt got spoil, it became imperfect and you took butter out of it. This is another way to look at it. It all depends on how you look at it. It’s imperfection that gives value to perfection. Isn’t it so? How can you call something perfect? Because there is something which is not perfect. So, the existence of something which is not perfect is absolutely essential to understand something that is perfect. So, the imperfect makes the perfect, perfect!
Q: I know that destiny plays an important role in life. Our failures and success in life are connected to destiny. But what role are we playing in our lives?
Sri Sri: You make the destiny. What you did yesterday is a tomorrow’s destiny, and what you do now is destiny day after.
Q: What is the relationship between seeker, guru and the Divine?
Sri Sri: The beginning, middle and end of a same line. It is the seed, the plant and the tree.
Q: Can you please talk about our connection of our solar plexus and the sun? How to strengthen the connection, strengthen our nervous system and increase our immunity?
Sri Sri: Pranayama and meditation. Simply know there is a connection. You are connected to the air all around. Whether or not you know, the connection is there. The center of gravity in the body is the solar plexus, and the center of the universe is the sun.
Q: Until 18 months ago I never believed in spirituality. Art of Living has changed my thinking and made an impact in my life. However there is something missing in my life and I don’t know what it is. The daily practices help keeping me smiling, but there is still unhappiness within me. Please tell me how to rejoice from within as well.
Q: Guruji, is there any particularly good direction to sit in to practice our spiritual practices, and also when you are sleeping?
Sri Sri: Any direction is OK. Usually, you face the sun if the sun is there, east and west during sunrise and sunset respectively. When sun has already set and it’s dark, usually we face the north.
But that is not so important.
Why do we face the sun in the morning or evening? This is because force of energy is from one direction. So, if you are sitting facing one side and force is from the other side that means there is no balance on the other side. Suppose, you have one light here, and no light there, then there is an imbalance between the right and the left. So, sitting accordingly balances the right and the left. You are to balance right and left for meditation. So, it is said that way. But it is secondary, not even secondary, it is tertiary. It is not that important.
Q: I was wondering what exactly the mind is. Is it a little space in our brain or is it universal? And yes, I want to tell you that you rock.
Sri Sri: Mind is energy which is all over the body. See, every cell in your body is emitting some energy and the totality of all that energy around you is what you call the mind. Mind is not present at some point in the brain, but mind is all over the body. There is so much deep knowledge about consciousness; we should sometime go much deeper into it. We will understand more. The more you understand, the more wonder-struck you are. Wow!
You know, people have phantom hand, that means they really don’t have a hand, but they feel they have a hand and they feel sensations like itching or paining in that hand. People who have lost their hand or leg in a war or accident, later sometimes, they feel they have a phantom hand or a leg. Though, they don’t have it physically. That explains or gives a clue that the mind is not just in one spot, it is all around the body. The aura of body is mind. We think that mind is inside the body, it is the other way around - Body is inside the mind. Body is like the wick of the candle and mind is like the glow all around.
Q: The history of ancient India is filled with the accounts of enlightenment, yogis taking on supernatural states of awareness and capabilities. Yet, to help me understand, how does one interpret such stories? Are these methodologies with allegorical significance, or they point to the untapped potential hidden in each one of us?
Sri Sri: Do you know about the first airplane? Who flew the first airplane? (‘Wright brothers’ came the answer). This is what we hear or read in the books. Absolutely wrong. 50 years before Right brothers, one man from Bangalore, Subray Shastry, he went into meditation, in silence and then he went to meet a yogi. The yogi took him to deeper meditation, and he started recognizing the engines, he downloaded all that! He wrote a book called ‘Vaimanik Shastra’ and then he flew the plane in 1800 with a parsi gentleman. Parsis are the migrants of Iran to India who follow Zoroastrian religion. The parsi gentleman funded him to make the first plane. They flew it on the chaupati beach in Mumbai (or Bombay). This appeared in the ‘London times’ newspaper also. These two were put in jail by Colonial power, and they took and confiscated all the diagrams that he had made. A documentary of this came on television recently, with the newspaper cutting from England and the diagrams that he had cognized. He had made five different diagrams and this is available even today in a book called ‘Bhardawaj Vaimanik Shastra’ – The science of plane by Rishi Bhardawaj. He explained what type of engine that a plane has which takes off straight like a helicopter, and one which goes running and then takes off.
You can find all the details in the website http://www.bharathgyan.com/
More from the same conversation in the next post..