Q: Why do Angels have wings, what is the symbolism of that? Can you please talk about why we have Angels in the Christian tradition. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Man had a fascination to fly. He wanted to dominate space.
Man could walk the Earth, he could dive into the ocean and swim in the water. But what he could not do is fly. So Angels, which he considered one step above him, he gave them wings. He thought, Angels have wings because they are more powerful than man and they can fly and can go anywhere they want.
But today with the kind of airplanes we have, Angels will be much slower. We can reach much faster than them. We will leave the Angels behind somewhere.
Nobody with wings, however powerful, can fly faster than an aircraft or a helicopter.
So it is just a concept that they are more powerful than us, because it is only then that they can help us.
Angels mean those who can help us, who are more powerful, more equipped than us.
Now don’t imagine that an Angel is going to come with wings, and take you with them, and give you flowers, and all that.
Who is cunning and crafty?
One who does not have the
ability to walk like a king. If
you have the ability and the
power to do things in a
straightforward manner, you
would not do anything
Also, we see many times, Angels are depicted as children.
Do you know why are they depicted as children in the Christian tradition? This is to show innocence. The higher you go, you have to be pure and innocent inside, not cunning and crafty.
Who is cunning and crafty? One who does not have the ability to walk like a king. Someone who has less power has to manipulate and be cunning and crafty.
Someone who is very powerful, why would they be cunning and crafty? If you have the ability and the power to do things in a straightforward manner, you would not do anything surreptitiously. You will not need to.
All those people who do cunning things have no self confidence. They don’t believe that they can achieve things at their will; they think they have to do some manipulation to get there.
So Angels are depicted as children with wings because they are innocent. They are depicted to have a stout body, just like a two or three year old baby.
If you see all the Michelangelo paintings, you will see most of the angels are babies. It simply represents innocence and purity, and then ability - more ability than normal human beings.
I tell you inside you there is an angel.
In Christian tradition it is said that everyone has a guardian angel. It is not that they are only guarding you, you are part of that guardian angel; you are that! You simply have to realize that you are an angel. You have the power to do what you want to do. Know this and relax.
Q: How do I find the right balance between striving for improvement and being contented with who I am and what I am doing? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do you know how to ride a bicycle? Exactly like that!
When you want to have balance, you will definitely have it. Just this thought, 'I want to balance my life', is good enough. You are already moving in that direction.
Now when this question arises, ‘How do I do it?’ Know you can do it.
Ask yourself, your consciousness will tell you.
‘I am not balanced, I am missing out on this’, your consciousness will say it. Then you listen to your consciousness.
If you are attending to your work too much then your consciousness will prick. ‘Hey you are forgetting your family, your wife, your children, your husband’
Then you say, ‘Okay I will attend to them’
If you’re getting too immersed in the family and forget about all other things then your consciousness will prick, ‘My god what have I got into, what did I get into, day and night I’m just immersed in family affairs, I’m not being useful to the world, I have to do something I have to pursue my cause, I have to do justice to my work’. The mind will prick. Then you do that.
This wanting to keep balance in life, that very thought is good enough. It is like the fuse in the electrical system, whenever the electric current surges too much the fuse will break and save everything else. Like that a little amount of guilt must be there like the fuse in the system.
You don’t justify but that little bit is okay to have, like the fuse in an electric system. You know about the electric system and know that in the electrical board there’ll be one small box called fuse. So whenever there is an imbalance in current, the fuse will burst and save the rest of the electrical system. Like that in life, a little bit of guilt is okay but not too much.
Like salt in the food. If there is too much salt can you eat it? No. Got it? So wanting to have balance is good.
Q: I am sensitive and easily hurt. What is good about being sensitive? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Life is a combination of sensitivity and sensibility. Sensibility is of the intellect and sensitivity of the heart.
Usually people who are very sensitive they forget reason, logic. Their sensibility becomes less. And people with a lot of reason, always thinking about logic and sensibility, seem to lack sensitivity. Life needs to be a beautiful balance of both.
You need to be sensitive yet strong. Usually sensitivity is equal to emotional instability. It should not lead to that.
Your sensitivity should not lead you to emotional instability. If you are strong and sensitive then you have made it in your life. Got it.
You have to be sensible and sensitive, both.
In Christian tradition it is
said that everyone has a
guardian angel. It is not
that they are only guarding
you, you are part of that
guardian angel; you are
that! You simply have to
realize that you are an
angel. You have the power
to do what you want to do.
Know this and relax.
Q: Like a GPS you guide us to our goal and destiny, but what is our goal and destiny? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You should make a list of what is not your goal.
I want you to discover for yourself what is your goal, and what is it that you want to do.
One thing you should know is that you are very lucky. You are in a time where you are leading the world. You are in a time that will go down in history as a big transition from a self-centered, hardened society to a beautiful world.
Q: If we are old souls who have been here for eternity, are new experiences ever truly possible? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, life is ancient yet new.
The Sun is very old. It is 19 billion years old, or even more.
The Earth is 19 billion years old; Sun must be even more than that, some hundreds of billions of years old. But even today, its rays are fresh and new, isn’t it?!
So life is a combination of ancient and modern; old and new.
It is the same running river from millions of years but the water is new and fresh, isn’t it?
Q: Some people say they live without food, and there is a film about this. Is this true and what do you think? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: I know a gentleman who said that he only watches sun light for food. He has mastered not eating, but sometimes he has a cup of tea with a lot of sugar in it.
See, this is about training your body. It is like in Russia how they train you in ballet. The way they bend their whole spine and the whole body is like it is made up of rubber. It took them so many days to train themselves in Russian ballet.
In the same way, if you want to train your body to live without food you can do so. But you have to do it under the guidance of one who has done it, and not just by reading books. Don’t do that. Someone who is an expert can train you, it has to be very gradual.
But why you want to do that, what is the point in it. Eat less, don’t eat too much.
Yes there are people who get their energy from just the sun gazing.
In the morning you gaze because everything is energy. Our eyes are photosensitive, it’s like the solar cells, our eyes have the same quality as solar cells they can absorb energy and supply it to the body but that needs to be properly trained for.
If nature had wished that way it would not have given you a mouth at all.
The mouth and all the digestive enzymes, liver and all this need to function so let them be functional also. Don’t go to those extremes.
Q: What is embarrassment? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Do I have to tell you what is embarrassment?
I know of embracement, and not of embarrassment. If you can embrace embarrassment then nothing can shake you.
One thing that people try to run away from, is embarrassment.
Embarrassment is a mild form of criticism. A mild form of feeling uncomfortable. So sometimes we need to get out of the comfort zone and feel that little bit of discomfort. Then abilities dawn in us.