Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What is real and what is unreal?
Sri Sri: Things are changing. Everything that is changing is unreal!
Q: Guruji, I am an Art of Living volunteer. What makes me worthy of being an Art of Living ambassador?
Sri Sri: Just this fact, that you are grateful of being an ambassador, makes you worthy. The most important quality on this planet is humility.
Q: There is another thing Guruji, there is violence at individual level also and at national, international level also but how do we tackle this?
Sri Sri: You know violence is a result of fermented stress. When stress gets fermented and it is not rooted out in its infancy, it either turns into societal violence or depression or suicidal tendencies. These are two things that happen. Stress comes up and then either one gets suicidal on one hand or they swing towards becoming violent and agitated. So yoga brings that balance to the personality; balance of body, mind and spirit. Yoga brings that equanimity and balance; decency in one’s personality. That’s why we say ‘Yogyatha’ for one who is qualified. The qualification to be called a decent human being comes to you through Yoga because then you can balance your emotions, you have a say over your behavior. It’s not like your behavior goes out of your control.
Q: Guruji, there are so many schools of Yoga, so many teachers who advocate different forms of Yoga, what exactly is Yoga, for layman who knows nothing about Yoga, what is it exactly?
Sri Sri: Yoga is a study of life, study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego. Study of your inner faculties!
Q: What is the importance of celibacy?
Sri Sri: Celibacy is something that happens spontaneously. When every cell of your body is happy, you don't need an act to be happy.
It is a phenomenon not an act. And abstinence, to some extent, is good as it saves energy.
Q: So the courses you have introduced definitely help in depression?
Q: Dear Guruji, I believe in this: As we sow, so we reap.But many instances we see that a person is going through bad times, even if wedon’t see any major fault done by him or her. Why it happens?
Sri Sri: Karma! The ways of karma areunfathomable. Karma is like an ocean. This is not one lifetime. In manylifetimes, we have done so many actions and they all have repercussions. Whichkarma has sprouted from which seed and what fruit this karma will give is verydifficult to pin point. That is why it is said ‘gahana karmanogati’ . Unfathomableare the ways of karma. Because it is not just one lifetime, many lifetimes, wehave done many things and we don’t know which karma sprouts when. That’s whydon't worry about the karma, just be active and follow your conscience.
Act with conscience!
Q: Guruji, one last question. The most important thing that you think we must imbibe in our life.
Sri Sri: Human values and we must value life and its main characteristic ‘compassion’ more than anything else.
Q: How to take full responsibility for your actions withoutfeeling doership?
Sri Sri: When you are taking responsibility,just take the responsibility. Doership means brooding over the consequences.
Whatever has happened, the moment you take responsibility, youare empowered. You come to the present. You have already accepted theconsequences.
When you are in action, don’t get into this philosophy ofdoership or non-doership else the mind gets confused. When you act, you acthundred per cent. When you are acting hundred per cent, suddenly you willrealize I am not doing, it is all happening. Non- doership is an experience;it is not something you try to do or achieve.
Q: Scientifically, Has it been seen? Can we write it in medical journals?
Sri Sri: Yeah! It has already been published by NIMHANS (National Institute of
Mental Health and Neuro Sciences) and IAMS, they have published a paper on it.