Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How do I break the cycle of feeling victimized whenever I go through difficulties?
Sri Sri: You have already broken it the moment you realize the pattern. You realize it is your own mind’s making and that it has happened over and over again. This realization will come in its own time. And when this happens, be happy and grateful. Imagine where you were five or ten years back. How have you changed? How much better it has become since then. Put your attention on this. The more we are grateful, the more grace we will have in our life.
The first step to fun is relaxation. What tires you is anxiety and ambition for tomorrow. The anger and hatred of yesterday are also clogging our mind. In the same way feverishness pulls down our enthusiasm. In deep relaxation, you will find everything funny.
Q: Guruji, I want to be free. How can I be?
Sri Sri: (laughs), Freedom? How will I become free? You have to assume that you are free. Bondage is assumed, so freedom should also be assumed. Bondage is in the mind.
Today is a very special day. Every day is a special day, but today is ‘Shani pradosha’ i.e. Shivaratri on Saturday. Every month has one Shivaratri. On the 13th day after the full moon or two days before the new moon is Shivaratri. It is either on Monday or Saturday. If it falls on a Saturday, it is considered very auspicious. People chant and sing a lot of Shiva bhajans in the evening and meditate.
Q: Guruji, tell us about pradosha.
Sri Sri: ‘Pradosha’ is the time when divine energy dawns on the planet and redeems all the spirits. There are so many spirits. For people who die and exist as spirits, the day of pradosha redeems them, frees them. Freedom not just for the spirits but also for human beings. Desires are fulfilled and mind gets cleared. Shivaratri that comes once a year, known as ‘Maha Shivaratri’, is very special, the great night of Lord Shiva.
Every month, there is a special day of Shivratri. When you find there is festival every month, you become busy with the festivity, then you have no time to worry or do anything else.
Q: What if you give a promise and then take it back?
Sri Sri: It is not the promise which is important. What is important is: what is best for ever body, for all human beings. Suppose you have promised your daughter to take her skiing but if the weather forecast says that there will be a snow storm, what will you do? Will you take her out because you promised or will you be intelligent and say, “The promise will not bring happiness now, so I take back my promise and not take you there now”.
Q: How can I sustain the peace of meditation, the “all is well” feeling?
Sri Sri: How do you sleep at night? You simply drop everything. When you wake up, you are fresh and have the energy and dynamism to deal with the situations. It is the same with meditation. You will see the contrast if you don’t meditate for some time.
Q: What can we say to people in our satsangs who keep bringing in knowledge from different gurus?
Sri Sri: Listen and let go. Don’t engage in too much discussion with them. Let everyone air their own opinions. The main thing is being with your own contemplation.
Q: How can I feel your presence in my everyday life?
Sri Sri: You already feel it, no?
Q: How does one balance work and life?
Sri Sri: How do you balance on a bicycle? There is no “how.” You just do it.
Q: Please, tell us how to prevent pollution.
Sri Sri: : We have to plant more trees and care for the nature. Drive less, more car pools, etc.
Q: How can I become more disciplined?
Sri Sri: Why do you want to be disciplined? It will make you happier? It will improve your fitness or health? So it is the love for being in shape or the fear of becoming unhealthy that will keep you disciplined. Love, fear and greed bring discipline. If someone says you will get $1 million for being disciplined in your life, that will make you so.