Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I feel happy and peaceful here. My heart is really contented. All negativity comes when I go out. I encounter all problems like corruption and bribery. How to face these problems? How to maintain the same positivity when I go from here?
Sri Sri: You forget strength in you – prayer and power of your Sankalpa (positive intention). You keep doing practices and your things are taken care of. Don’t ask for small things in your prayers. Ask for big things – Let government be good and stable, let this knowledge reach out to many more people. It is up to you to make a divine society. You can start a collective moment. There are many good people, and a very few people who cause disturbance, but their influence looks like they are many. You come together and you will find what difference you can make.
Q: I have heard of many people benefitting from Ayurveda. Can you please talk about that?
Sri Sri: We definitely need to adopt certain things from Ayurveda. Lots of thoughts disturb us when there is stomach disorder. When vatta or pitta in body gets imbalanced, too many thoughts arise in mind. There is a ayurvedic medicine, Triphla, which balances the three Imbalances in the body. It is good to take Triphla for 1 - 2 months. You can take 1, 2 tablets, or a spoon of Triphla churna before going to bed. It increases energy level in body. Vitamin C also provides you immunity. Sometimes allopathic doctors prescribe medicines for 15-20 days for stomach disorders, and that adversely affects liver and body. There is Devati which you can take. It is very effective in curing fever also. Ayurveda has the specialty of correcting disorders and diseases without any side effect. And hence we should adopt Ayurveda. All these are home remedies and one should keep these with oneself. And if at some time, some disease prolongs then one should definitely consult doctor.
Q: People around me feel jealous due to my good performance. Please suggest what I should do in these circumstances?
Sri Sri: Ok! About jealousy! Just join hands with them or praise them. Another thing that you can do is not to take any notice of their jealousy at all. - Contributed By Yes Plus Teachers
Q: If whatever we do is in search of happiness, then why is there so much pain and misery in the world?
Sri Sri: There is a story of Mullah Nasserudin. His wife was pregnant and the time of delivery had come. But the baby was not coming out. When doctor told this to Mullah Nasserudin, he ran to the market, bought a toy, and kept that toy in front of her wife. He said, “After all this is my child, so he will surely come out with greed”. Whole our life we keep on running behind things with the hope of getting something. We keep on looking for some kind of profit. How would such person experience happiness? Neither does a greedy person get happiness nor does a person who is bombarded with too many desires. The one who relaxes in his consciousness, is happy. One who is centered, experiences the true happiness. I am not saying there is no happiness in the outer world, but the happiness you get when you go within is incomparable. The world is running in search of happiness. The body gets baked, the mind gets baked, the intellect gets deluded but still we keep on getting stuck in the same repetitive cycle. When you meet the Guru, you come to know that you are the source of happiness. Then the mind calms down, and you realize that you are the one in whose search you kept on running here and there.
Q: How do I know if I am doing the right job?
Sri Sri: If you had a million dollars in your bank and would still do what you are doing, then that means you are in the right place. - Contributed By Yes Plus Teachers
Q: How do we protect our mind?
Sri Sri: That is a big job. In the Geeta it is said, even the most brilliant people are confused about what to do and what not to, and how to handle the mind. Protecting the mind is a very great task but to do it we need knowledge. Up to this moment, see all that has happened so far. It all gone! Finished. Wake up. When you are full of energy, prana, you suddenly see it all gone. Now! All that happened is ok. Think about what to do now. Sometimes 100 percent of what you do will be successful, sometimes not. A farmer knows that not every seed that he sows will sprout. He takes the seeds and throws them in the field, and does not worry that this seed will sprout, this won't. From now on, it a new chapter. Every day is a new chapter. Bring up this awareness again and again. The whole world is filled with my atma (soul) it all Me. It one Consciousness. This one consciousness works through one person in one way, through another person in another way. It is one ocean with many waves. If this vision comes to you even for just five seconds then there will be such a major transformation in your body and mind. Then a realization will spring in you Aho! All worries are washed off. Just for a second, recognize that it only Me in my enemy. I myself have started the Game. Understand this, but don't turn it into a mood making. Have this understanding only in the nivriti, not in the pravritti mode. If we bring advaita (non-duality) in vyavahar (behavior), we only create more delusion. In pravritti, see duality. Taking up of the human form is impossible without pravritti. How much pravritti and nivriti one should have is a very sensitive matter. When there is more pravritti, then one becomes too negative and one is asked to be in nivriti.In India, dand (punishment) is called shiksha(education). The word saja(punishment) comes from shiksha (education). Earlier, they would not punish someone out of anger but out of compassion. When there would be too much pravritti in someone, they would put him in a room (jail) providing food, sleep and rest. Like a doctor puts people in hospital when the body is sick, when our kritya (action) is sick, the karta (doer) is put in jail. When you have both pravritti and nivriti, you are successful.
Q: In one of your talks ‘Journey towards Enlightenment’ you said we are born with innocence and we move towards intellect, we are born with heart, feelings and emotions, and we move towards head and thoughts. Enlightenment is reverse journey from head to heart, from intellect to innocence. But the heart is in a mess, so confused. So where is the question of seeking enlightenment when it is so confused and so emotional because the heart is where all problem starts.
Sri Sri: Heart without wisdom is a market place of problems. That is why you have to go to your head and bring wisdom into your heart. Everything has a place. Wisdom, knowledge has its own place. Intellectual discussion has its own place. This is an intellectual discussion that we are doing. And your emotions have a place. It is beautifully said in the Bhagwad Geeta ‘Nastibudhi rayutaya, najayuktasya bhavna’ naja bhavyata shanti, ashantasya kutah sukha’ Mahatma Gandhi used to chant this daily and made his followers also do the same in their prayers. When you are not united with your spirit, your intellect can’t be sharp, is not complete and your feelings are ruffled. But when you are united with your spirit, your intellect becomes sharp and alert and your feelings blossom flawlessly like flowers. When you don’t have feelings, you can’t have peace, and how can you be happy if peace is not there. This is what Krishna asked Arjuna in Bhagwad Geeta: Where is happiness if there is no peace, if one is disturbed.
Q: Do you feel Ayurveda is the most comprehensive of traditional healthcare systems and could you explain what Ayurveda is as well?
Sri Sri: Ayurvedic medicines have been proven to be have no side effects at all and have been practiced for thousands of years. So I feel we have to take the diagnostic systems from allopathy and there are other modern gadgets we have to use. But as far as treating the patients, once the diagnosis is done, it [Ayurveda] seems to be working very well. Again, you know, we can't be very fanatical about any system. We have to have a holistic approach to health because if we are fanatically attached to any one system, I think we will not be benefited the most. Definitely Ayurveda, I feel, has been time tested for many ages and it has helped millions of people keep their health. You know, there are people who are living healthily for 100 years, or for over 100 years, and their health is sustained by just Ayurveda - in many parts of the Himalayan region, in Tibet, in Southern India. It's amazing how it works if you follow certain principles, not just the medicine aspect of it, but also the lifestyle - how you eat, what you eat, when you fast, and how much water to drink. I think it's most valuable, though it has to undergo more research and scientific up-grading for today's world.
Q: What does a person with passion and aptitude, but very less investment does?
Sri Sri: If you have a passion and aptitude then a lot can be done with less investment too. Whatever your idea is, you need to talk to experts and have a practical implementation plan for it. - Contributed By Yes Plus Teachers
Q: What are the differences between various religions?
Sri Sri: Religion has three components: symbols, customs and traditions, and values. There is no difference as far as values are concerned, because all talk about oneness. Customs and symbols are all very different; they have to be. This is what makes the world beautiful, because God doesn’t like uniforms! Nature has been created with such diversity- so many flowers, animals, people. Diversity is the language of God. In India, God can have any number of names and forms, and they all point to one Divinity. There is difference in one sense, and there is unity in another sense. Wise ones celebrate diversity,