Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: When two kids like to fight with each other, what should I do?
Sri Sri: Just join them! See that they don’t have sharp things in their hands. Children should fight, they fight and they come back again and they hug each other, they love each other, they can’t be without each other. But it is the adults, it takes them months, years and sometimes even lifetimes to shake hands. Kids are not like that, they fight a moment and next moment they are hand in hand with each other, better you don’t get involved in their matters. Children live in the moment, kids live in the moment, so they fight now and they forget now and this is the beauty.
Q: People in India are getting more and more inspired to do ethical business and take on responsibility for the society. Can you talk about this?
Sri Sri: I think this is also true in US, everywhere. Today in the globalized world, how we can turn back to the ethics? In European parliament, every year ‘Art of living’ conducts a seminar – ‘Corporate culture and spirituality’. Business people from around the world come. And those who are doing ethical business present how they are doing, what all corporate responsibility they have undertaken, and how we can inculcate spirituality in the business. This happens every year somewhere in October or November.
Q: An India specific question - Can business and ethics in contemporary India be reconciled?
Sri Sri: You know, this notion that ‘only by doing wrong things you can prosper’ is wrong. It is not true. You see there are so many businesses in this country where they are flourishing doing ethical business. But they have to be highlighted. Many people don’t know.
The small businesses don’t understand that some of the big businesses are doing totally ethical work like the Tatas, Infosys or Wipro...they are all doing totally ethical business to the core. They are not cheating or doing things which are not ethical. We have to highlight this to the public. That work needs to be done. There are so many small business people who are so value based. Unfortunately they don’t make news. Only Satyam made news (laughter). It is so interesting to see that media captures those news more than the good ones.
Q: How to improve memory and be more creative and imaginative?
Sri Sri: How to improve memory? I will tell you next year, let me see whether you remember the question!
You do have good memory; If you think you don’t have, little more pranayama, and there are some ayurvedic things for memory, you can take Brahmi and Shankapushpi, these herbs are good for memory.
Q: I want to go to India with my family members.
Sri Sri: Yeah you’re welcome to come. We will organize, I think in the stadium also many people wanted to come to India the other day. If it’s a long big group then it will be fun. Some good travel agent here, any travel agent here? Then we will make arrangements and sometime all must come, it’s just very close from here, just four hours.
Q: How to become a teacher of the ‘Art of Living’?
Sri Sri: Yeah, in the end of the course, there will be a list and whoever wants to become a teacher should give his/her name. If you want to become a teacher, you can.
Q: Will you sing with us today?
Sri Sri: Well, we will do meditation of course.
Q: You talked about the village. What changed them? What was done in that village practically?
Sri Sri: Meditation, breathing, just educating them and singing together. Everyone comes together in the evening and starts singing, everyday. Once a week they have this preeti bhoj when everybody eats together. An inspirational programme called Youth Leadership Training programme gave them the inspiration.
Q: How does one drop a tendency to judge people? How do you drop judgment?
Sri Sri: Oh!(laughs) it can stop by itself. Once you know you are judging, you only come out of it. See, you cannot do anything about the past. The moment you become aware I was judging, I was judgemental, you are already out of it. You simply see, when you turn back and see how many times you had judgements about people, and they all proved to be wrong more or less, most of them. So with your own experience, you grow into wisdom. It cannot be induced from outside. You have to have this from inside. You have to look back and see how was it. What did I do?
Q: How to overcome the air in my stomach and deal with constipation as it makes my emotions go bad, really bad, especially during working hour?
Sri Sri: Food, food, food, change your food habits. Is there an Ayurvedic doctor here or Chinese doctor? They can suggest some herb, in Ayurveda, there is something called Triphala. So every night you take two-three tablets of Triphala which cleanses the body and constipation will go, hah! That is a very general medicine, harmless. Do we have Ayurveda here? Let’s work towards getting these herbs, they are very useful.