Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: In the Udhava Gita, Krishna says when a man is close to enlightenment, the gods or devas (Specific Divine energies) send him a woman. This is the ultimate distraction. In this life, do we always look
at women as a barrier to spiritual growth? What about the sanctity of male-female love?
Does it have no place in the space of divine love?
Sri Sri: So, what is your question? Why Krishna said that to Udhava? Well, Krishna said many different things to different people at different times. Now, I am not going to be an advocate for Krishna right now. But if he has said this to Udhava, it must be at a particular stage of time, right? But for you, if you have fallen in love with somebody, there is no problem. You can definitely get married. Don’t think there is no place for romance or romance is against spirituality. No, it is not. Promiscuity is against spirituality. Unethical exploitation of others is against spirituality. But if you are genuinely in love with a girl, and she is in love with you, it’s okay. But if you are in love with somebody and she is in love with someone else, then you are in trouble and she is in trouble. The only person who would benefit in this case is the telephone company! And if you are in love, and your parents agree then it’s great. But your romance should continue later too with the same person.
Last month, a boy got married here and he said, I’m getting married to the same girl forthe third time – first time was in America, then in Delhi and now, here. This way, youcan celebrate your romance every day. Spirituality is against any type of corruption. Inthe name of romance, if we are getting into lust and exploiting people, that is not right.
Romance is 'I am here for you. I want to share whatever I have with you.' It should comefrom a space of giving rather than grabbing. That romance is spiritual. In fact, in India the concept of romance with the divine was brought out. Radha-Krishna are very well known throughout the country.
Krishna told Udhava that this is all a distraction for you. At that time, Udhava was also quite old. If you also come here after 50 years and tell me that you have fallen in love with someone, I will say this is a distraction. Right now at 25, if you come here and tell me that you are in love, I’llsay go ahead. But at the age of 55!
Q: Why does one marry? What is the secret of a successful marriage?
Sri Sri: A successful marriage is when both are happy. Then the children will also be happy. You choose! Choice is yours and blessings are mine. This is something that you don’t choose with your head. If something clicks in the future, make a choice.
Q: Is self-realization a journey or a goal? If we reach somewhere, do we come to know we have reached somewhere, or we have to continue walking.
Sri Sri: Yes, It is both. In one way it is a journey also and in another way it is the last destination. When you are so content that you feel you need nothing. There are no needs left, and we feel so complete.Such contentment dawns that you feel so complete! When you have such a smile that never fades and this happens so effortlessly.
Q: What is the description of knowledge?
Sri Sri: Knowledge is not information. That which is awareness is knowledge. The container that contains information is called wisdom, and not the content. That in which all information happens is knowledge. The consciousness – that is only the knowledge.
Satyam Gyanam Anantam Brahma – there are four designations of Brahma - Truth, infinity, wisdom and God. These are the four facets of knowledge. It is all one. Relative knowledge is information and pure knowledge is that which is absolute.
Q: From the time, the Universe has been created, there have been souls. I wonder are they increasing or do they remain the same? I don’t understand the mathematics of souls.
Sri Sri: There are lot many species which are getting extinct too! Lots of snakes,scorpions, sparrows, butterflies… They could have come as humans.
Q: Please throw some light on the last shloka of the tenth chapter of the Bhagwad Geeta?
Sri Sri: Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, “Whatever you are seeing in this world, that is all a little part of Me. Wherever you see any merit, that comes from Me only. Any intelligence that you see in anyone, that is Me only. Any valor that you see in anyone, that is Me only. The whole world reflects in a little part of Me.
Q: What is the purpose of my life? Why have I taken birth on this planet?
Sri Sri: The way you are smiling right now, to bring that smile on the faces of others as well
Do you know the meaning of the month December? (Audience says No!) November? (No!). December – Dash + Ambar, Dash in Sanskrit means ten and ambar means sky. So December makes the tenth sky. Similarly November (Nav + ambar) makes ninth sky and so on. All these names have Sanskrit roots.
Once upon a time March was celebrated as the New year. March is the first month which means go ahead, to move on. And that is when Sun enters the first constellation – Aries. Even today in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey and in many parts of India, March is celebrated as the start of the New Year. So the real new year begins in march. January is the eleventh month and February – the last month.
Q: What is the difference between the mind and the soul?
Sri Sri: Mind is thoughts and soul is in which everything happens.
Q: Many people say that Lord Hanuman still exists in Himalayas? Is it true?
Sri Sri: You know, the Universe is all wave function. There is nothing solid here. If you see some quantum physicist, you will find that they say that whatever appears to be there is really not there. In the subtle, all energies are there. Lord Hanuman is not a person sitting somewhere. In life force itself, there is the consciousness of Hanuman.
Q: How do protect oneself from the negativity of others?
Sri Sri: Om Namah Shivaya chanting! Jai Gurudev will also do.