Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What are things that make you enjoy?
Sri Sri: I enjoy when every tear turns into smile! And it happens all the time.
Q: We know that with love we can transform a bad person into a good person, bad habit into good habit. But, how can we use our love to transform gangsters and criminals?
Sri Sri: Oh! We have number of examples. You know we are doing these courses inside the prisons. Inside every culprit there is a victim crying for help. So, if you heal the victim, the culprit disappears. We are doing this in a big way. In a multi ethnic society like in Malaysia, it is very essential to have a sense of belongingness with each other, everyone has to live in harmony.
You cannot have harmony from outside, it has to come from deep within. That authentic belonging come when we are out of stress and have a broader perspective of life.
Q: Why do you have so many followers? Are they following you because you are a master?
Sri Sri: Well, that you have to ask them! They may all have different reasons to say, I can’t speak for them. One thing that I see is when people are so happy and grateful, they come to express their gratefulness. Transformation that is happening in the world is so much. Millions of people are getting transformed in their personal life, social life and professional life.
And we have these courses happening all over the world in schools, in prisons and in corporate sector as well. And in the poor sections of society, we give them education and self confidence to be more self reliant.
Q: Human beings live in a state where everything is not under our control. It is not possible to relax or meditate or even take deep breaths. Is there any other way to handle things smoothly?
Sri Sri: There is a saying “You can’t learn archery in the war field”. You have to learn archery before you get into that position. So, at that moment when you are stressed, you can’t do, but you have to do something before so that you don’t go to that level at all, you don’t get stressed. You can’t learn a new tune on the stage, though I don’t believe in this, this is a saying, actually nothing is impossible. I would say change in the way you behave, change in the food habits, and change in the way you perceive things in life, your communication ability, your ability to withstand criticism and take criticism… Generally, the outlook towards life itself makes a difference.
Your getting connected to the universal spirit, how much you are connected to the universal spirit, that much more is your ability to function.
So, I would give you number of things that you can do. Small techniques like head massage, eye exercise, taking proper food, taking a walk, sitting and observing sunset…maybe in KL, you don’t get to see the sunset because of tall buildings all around! Being with nature, playing with kids etc will also help. Unfortunately, we simply sit on the couch, watch television and keep popping all the junk food. This has taken a toll on the health of the society.
We need to change our ways for a healthy society.
Q: How can we use our love to transform nature? These days there are lots of natural disasters happening and can we do something to control them or prevent them?
Sri Sri: This will happen slowly. If you start loving trees and plant more trees, it will definitely have an impact. You know, mining is the biggest disaster that we have created. We put so many explosives under the ground and blast them. Earth is a living organism, it is not a dead object. So, if we put in its tummy and blast it, the earth starts shaking more and more, earth quake happens more and more. Mining is the biggest cause of natural disaster that we are creating. And second is cutting off the trees. There is so much attention about tree plantation or about going green, but, nobody is talking about the explosives that we are using for mining. This we have to see.
Q: How to strike a balance between development and preserving the planet?
Sri Sri: How do you balance a bicycle? In the same way! In ancient India, there was this thing that if you have to cut a tree, you have to do a ceremony. In ceremony, you promise the tree that you will plant five of its kind and then only ask for permission to cut? It is almost like you are talking to the tree. People in tribal areas were all caring for environment a lot.
They considered the mountains sacred, rivers sacred, trees sacred… The sacredness allows you to honor the nature, that allows you to protect and respect the nature respect. Native Americans used to consider the nature sacred, they would never put the mines and blast the earth.
Q: How do you relieve yourself? Because you are very busy all the time….
Sri Sri: I don’t allow the stress to come in at all!! To relieve the stress, first you have to take the stress in, right? I filter it out right there.
Q: You mentioned the word "transformation’’. Does this transformation happen because they follow you or it happens just by them?
Sri Sri: Well, I am good in taking credit!
I think everybody has that potential; they just need that little clue to be guided. That is why I formed different courses. We have the courses for the children so that they can become stress free. Recently, we had a conference in Chicago where educators had come and they were sharing what had happened just in 6 months of introducing the courses in the district schools.
And one of them in one of the toughest inner city school said that where children drop out and crime rate was very high to the extent of 268 crimes, it come down drastically to 60 in six months! From 268 to 60, that itself is an eye opener that children or youths can be given education in non violent way of communication or non violent way of behavior.
Q: Dearest Guruji, I’m not strong enough to take a commitment for whole one year. What can I do?
Sri Sri: Not strong enough? Take one day at a time. You are strong enough to take commitment for one day,that is enough. And each day you can continue doing it. Don’t think of one long year, “oh my God! One year I’ve to do something! Today I do, that’s good. Tomorrow I do, that’s good”.
Sri Sri: It comes by practice and by having a broader vision that things are going to be resolved in a very positive manner. See, we have very little time and we have lots of things to do. How can we do all this with low energy? So, we have to increase our energy, be efficient in our work and good time management. For all this, we teach this course called the ‘Art of Living’. It helps in all these three dimensions. It adds more time to your life-Quality time- and increases your energy level and improves intuition.