Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How do you know the answers for all the questions?
Sri Sri: I don’t have one for this!
Q: Having been given an instruction by someone we put faith in or a mentor, should I follow just the essence of it or word to word?
Sri Sri: See, you’re asking a very general question. And you will selectively use it the way you want, isn’t it? I’m not going to get caught up in this whole thing. (Laughs).
Q: How does one strengthen vairagya (dispassion) when desires arise in us?
Sri Sri: Know the impermanence of everything. Okay, you get a desire. It will be fulfilled. So what? Time will devour all. Time will change everything, so keep moving. When you know everything is impermanent and can still enjoy everything at the same time, that is vairagya or detachment.
Q: Dear Guruji, I’m feeling so lost in this world. Youalways say, ‘Life must be juicy’. But there is no juice anywhere. In everywork, there seems to be complete emptiness. Don’t know what to do, where to go?Please guide.
Sri Sri: You are in the right place. Just behere. Is it not juicy here? Is it dry and empty? Of course, it’s hollow andempty when you sit and meditate. But now, you see it’s so celebratory and fun.No one can ever say its dry here.
Look at everyone and the smile on their face. Yes, when youwant to take something from the world, the world will appear to be completelydull and lack. But when you want to contribute, the picture changesdrastically!
Q: Distractions and problems of everyday life come up again and again. Is it better to lead a detached, quiet life?
Sri Sri: Life is a combination of both: dynamism and silence, chaos and quietness. You shouldn’t be afraid of either. Those who are used to chaos, are scared of silence. Many times, in my public talks I have observed that some people can't even close their eyes, they’re so scared. Sometimes politicians and even professors can’t sit for 10 minutes with eyes closed. They’re scared to do so. People are so scared of silence, of stillness, of closing their own eyes. Similarly people used to their silence, to their comfort zone are so scared of chaos and disturbance. Both are incomplete. You should feel as comfortable with silence as you are with chaos, and that is the art of living. We see dynamism in silence and silence in chaos. When you are at home with both of them you are able to contribute in both situations.
Q: In spite of doing Sudarshan Kriya daily , still some emotions keep bothering me, lust, greed and jealousy. How do I get free of them?
Sri Sri: Your desire to be free indicates that you’re already on the way out. It is already going away. Do not be too hard on yourself. Practices will help you a lot.
Q: Guruji, does choosing a Guru means one can’t follow theteachings of other masters? Can one have more than one Guru?
Sri Sri: Oh! It’s so hard to manage one Guru,how can you…! (laughs) It’s not easy. Respect everybody but follow one path.Honor everyone and you will see, all the masters have said the same thing.There is only one truth, so, they have said the same thing, but the methods aredifferent as per the needs of the time.
You don’t have conflict when you are on this path. Whicheverpath you were there, they have blessed you and that’s how you have come here.You have served those paths, those teachers, those masters and their blessinghas brought you here, with this conviction you move forward. Ok?
It’s just that if you keep trying everything, you get soconfused! So, I would say, see one in all and all in one as a principle.
Honor everyone and follow one path.
Q: What to do if yourGuru or Mentor is displeased with you?
Sri Sri: You make fast progress! Guru isdispleased with your progress. So, now you gear up and progress more. Run fast!
Q: What is the best way to make someone aware of their responsibilities?
Sri Sri: Anything that works! Anything that makes them aware is good. Don’t sit and think what is the best way? Whatever ideas occur, you apply those and see which one works. The one that works is the best.
Q: The country is so full of gurus. I don’t know whom to accept as a Guru. Kindly advice whether I choose a Guru or a Guru chooses me? If I choose then how do I select one?
Sri Sri: Well, I can’t give you any criteria. You choose. It’s up to you. It’s not something you choose intellectually.
Something in your heart guides. You feel at home, you feel cared for, you feel comfortable, right? Otherwise, you can keep asking this question wherever you go. There’s no point, right?