Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I do not know how to express my feelings and emotions as I was trying to hide them; all the stress goes into myself. I do not know what to do with this. Is it very difficult to empty my mind even while meditating with your guidance?
Sri Sri: Hmm! If you get too many thoughts, there are certain reasons. One of the reasons, for getting too many thoughts, is when your bowel is not clear, when your stomach is upset, constipated. If your bowel movements are not ok then you get too many thoughts. If there is no proper blood circulation in the body, then also you get too many thoughts, yeah? So, yoga and pranayama will help. Proper food and diet will help. Show to Ayurvedic doctor, he will say if there is too much pitta in your system, then he will suggest the food that will also help.
Q: Guruji, I want to be free. How can I be?
Sri Sri: (laughs), Freedom? How will I become free? You have to assume that you are free. Bondage is assumed, so freedom should also be assumed. Bondage is in the mind.
Today is a very special day. Every day is a special day, but today is ‘Shani pradosha’ i.e. Shivaratri on Saturday. Every month has one Shivaratri. On the 13th day after the full moon or two days before the new moon is Shivaratri. It is either on Monday or Saturday. If it falls on a Saturday, it is considered very auspicious. People chant and sing a lot of Shiva bhajans in the evening and meditate.
Q: Dear Guruji, could you please give me an answer? Is the man I’m in love with since one year is the right one for me?
Sri Sri: Well! You are in deep love with somebody, so that person must be right for now. But whether he continues to be right in future, no body can say. It depends on you! How you handle. You are in love with some body, but is he in love with you or not? First you find that out! If that man is also in love with you, then see how you both preserve your love with a dose of wisdom and how you carry on, how you conduct yourself – all these factors are there. Correct? It’s very easy to fall in love, but many don’t know how to maintain that. Someone falls in love with you and you don’t know how to receive and nurture that love.
We loose other’s love for us too. So these skills, I have spoken about these skills in the knowledge facets, in Celebrating Love, you read it.
Q: After some ‘Art of Living’ Courses, I have felt so happy. I thought I would explode. After a while, I realized that it was not only happiness, but also feverishness. Then I got depressed. It was like an emotional roller-coaster. How can I handle feverishness?
Sri Sri: You have already become a witness to it. You have observed that you are on a roller-coaster. You observe these emotions are coming and going. Notice, earlier too the emotions were there. But now it is reducing. Before you were not aware, at least now you are aware of it. Just persistence on this path, in this knowledge makes you stronger, hmm!
Q: Dear Guruji, in the Ashtavakra Gita, it is said that we should only speak when a question is asked. How does this go together with our wish to bring more people into this knowledge?
Sri Sri: No, no, you do it. "Talk only when a question is asked" is for sensitive and evolved people. Different instructions are given for different level, and different sections of society. It’s not the same for everybody.
Q: Dear Guruji, as my Guru, you are the only one for me. I love you so deeply and follow you wherever you go. As a person, I often feel, such a deep distance. I’m afraid sometimes. I don’t understand this. It’s not really a question, but could you say something about it?
Sri Sri: You know we go through different types of emotions. We like somebody and later we dislike the same person. We trust somebody, and doubt the same person later. These mixed emotions rise and fall in our minds. Don’t be scared. All these emotions make you strong somewhere, deep inside. Somewhere, you will emerge a very powerful human being. When you become aware that these transient emotions are just a temporary phase, and realize that you are much bigger than this, you become strong and centered. Don’t get stuck in any of these emotions and form a concept in the mind.
Q: Dear Guruji, it is easy for me to shut my mouth, but it is difficult for me to shut my thoughts. How can I do it? Please help me.
Sri Sri: You don’t need to do anything. Everything is done here for you. Hiren is giving all the courses, he will lead you at different times to different types of meditations and processes, and it’ll happen. That’s why you need to be here. If it’s your first Advanced Meditation Course, you may find it a little difficult but when you continue, you will definitely find it very useful.
Q: Dear Guruji, It’s very hard to see my father in negativity. The more we, my brother, sister and I go into spirituality, the harder and worse it becomes for him. He thinks we have not achieved much in life. None of us have married. He craves for grand children, which we understand. He suffers a lot and that makes it hard for me to see. God has given me all that I need and want. How can I help my parents?
Sri Sri: We can do whatever we can do in our capacity. Spend quality time with them, don’t teach them. When you are with them, don’t give them lessons, or tell them what they should be, what they should not do. Don't tell them, "You should be spiritual like me." Don’t give them such sermons. You know, elderly people just need your company. When you are with them, just sing, just play with them, crack jokes and bring them food or have food with them. Talk something which is of interest to them. They are not interested in listening to wisdom from you, or learning any new techniques from you. Don’t behave like a teacher with your elderly parents. Casually, you may give a few words of wisdom. Observe if they are absorbing it. Otherwise, just being with them is good enough.
Q: Where is the line between accepting things as they are, and action to change them?
Sri Sri: There is no line. These are two sides of the same coin.
Q: I want to understand about desires and how we are meant to deal with them. I feel that I shouldn’t be in desires, yet, I want to achieve things or find myself attracted to another person. If we don’t have desires, where do motivations in life come from? Thank you.
Sri Sri: Fine, have desires. Who said no? Have desires. But the desires should not have you, you should have desires. It is like the horse is in control of you, and you are not in control of the horse. If you are not, then it’s a difficulty.
There is a story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was on the horse. And the horse was going round in circles, on the same streets! So people asked him, “Mulla, where are you going?” He said, “I don’t know, ask the horse!”
Most of the time in our life, we are in similar situation. Our desires have us and they ruin us. Instead, you should have desires. You should be able to drop them any time you want to, and have them any time you want to! You should be able to get on to the horse when you want to, and get out of the horse when you don’t want! Rather than getting stuck in the horse, or allowing the horse to throw you down. That is more misery.