Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: We read in some mythological stories that the yogis curse. Why do the yogis curse? On one hand they ask everybody to be happy, do meditation etc. then why curse?
Sri Sri: When a yogi curses, even it helps one in some way. The anger of a learned one is also useful, and the love of an ignorant is harmful. For example, in a village when the children cry and say they don’t want to go to school, the mothers ignorantly tells them, instead of sending the child to school , to stay back and play at home, or take the herd to jungle. This may be harmful for the children in the long run. Likewise a yogi’s anger may be inspirational and may do good to others.
Q: Guruji, what is ‘moksha’*, and how to attain it?
Sri Sri: How do you feel the day you have a holiday? That is a small glimpse of moksha. You also get this feeling when your exams are over, and you cast away your books and give a big relief sigh of’ Ha’! After travelling a long distance in the bus, when you get down at your destination and loosen up yourself, that is a sign of relief. Like this when you get full relief in life, when the mind is happy and contented, that is called ‘moksha’.
Q: Does the soul leave the body after death immediately? What happens in case of unnatural deaths and accidents etc?
Sri Sri: It is a wonderful relation of body and soul. This is a profound topic. We shall discuss it sometimes later.
Q: Guruji, it is said ‘Advaita’ (Non Duality). Why it is not expressed as ‘only one’ but as ‘not two’?
Sri Sri: Because you need two to count one.
Q: Suppose we want something, or want something to happen, then there are two things one can do–one is to drop the desire and let it happen, and the other is wanting it is so much that it happens. What is it that we should do?
Sri Sri: Take it as it comes. Sometimes you really pray for something and it comes. Sometimes you just have a gentle thought and it manifests. Right? So, there is no definite criteria for it, all is possible!
Q: Of the five elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space, Earth and Water are said to be female; Fire and air are male, then what is space? Why is this differentiation?
Sri Sri: There are various concepts and understanding of this. So, people start attributing male and female genders to everything. But that is how human mind can comprehend things; it cannot comprehend anything which is beyond.
Q: I have benefited a lot after doing the YES+ course but a problem has emerged in life too. Previously, I used to ask my parents for every small thing, but I started taking some decisions of my own after doing YES+. Now my mother feels insecure about our relationship, she thinks her daughter is going away from her. But it is not the case in reality, and I also respect her more than before. How to get the situation where she does not feel insecure, and I can also do things with my decisions?
Sri Sri: The most difficult thing to do is to express our feelings correctly, and to understand others’ feelings correctly. Lacking this skill is the biggest issue faced by the society today, and this has to be developed. It is never perfect, some ups and downs do happen in this matter. Like, what we feel, we cannot express fully, and cannot understand correctly what others feel. This keeps happening in life but when we become more calm and happy, we are able to understand other’s mind more and more. That’s why it is very necessary to do meditation, pranayama etc. That gives more inner clarity, and then we feel that others can understand us better, and also we can express our views better.
Q: Have you ever cursed anyone?
Sri Sri: No, never happened a chance to do that. When you are full, the need to give curse never arises; it may happen in those who feel some lack.
Q: I can give my hundred percent, when it is to do service in the ‘Art of Living’, but when it comes to studies, I cannot do.
Sri Sri: I know it is tough, but you have to do. The mind goes easily and naturally towards the things we like. If the things you like are juicy, there you don’t have to make efforts, it is natural. But when something which is not of your liking, is not juicy, it is dry and boring, but is good for you in the long run, then you have to put an effort and do it. There is no other option for it.
Q: Spiritual path involves many sacrifices of material things and worldly pleasures, all which seem to take away the joy from life. Is it so?
Sri Sri: No, in fact it gives you the joy.