Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Dearest Guruji, Can you tell us more about whatis going to happen in 2012?
Sri Sri: Business as usual. Only people will become more spiritual.
Q: Guruji, I am blessed to be here with you as I am now healing from breast cancer diagnosed last fall. Can you tell me and us how to learn from illness? With Love and gratitude.
Sri Sri: See, you don’t have to learn anything from illness. Just move on. It’s part of life. The body undergoes some illnesses. It could be many reasons. It could be due to karma, to past impressions, to the genes in the family. It could be due to violating laws of nature, eating too much when you should not eat, and it could be due to all this technology that we are having around which causes so much radiation. So it doesn’t pay us sitting and analyzing what I should learn from this.
Just keep moving with one faith, one knowledge, one sense of gratefulness. We are happy we are on this planet, as long as we are here, let's do good. One day, we'll all be gone. For sure, we'll all be gone.
Q: Dear Guruji I doubt myself a lot, I doubt my skills, abilities and decisions. How do you deal with self-doubt?
Sri Sri: How does one deal with self-doubt? Understand doubt: doubt is always about something that is good. Someone tells you ‘I love you’, you ask them ‘Really?’, and they say ‘I hate you’, you never ask ‘Really?’ So, a doubt is always about something good. You doubt your abilities; you never doubt your weaknesses. You doubt happiness, you never doubt misery. Isn’t it? Nobody doubts their depression. ‘But well, I’m not sure if I’m happy or not, well I'm not sure'. So when you understand that the doubt is always about something that’s positive, your mind shifts to a level, a different level altogether.
Doubt is simply low prana. If you do more pranayams you will see that you have come about that.
Q: How do we use this time to expedite our spiritualgrowth?
Sri Sri: Just exactly what you are doing now.
Q: Dearest Guruji, What is a devotee? What does a devotee do? How does one become a devotee?
Sri Sri: Now don’t try hard to become a devotee. Love combined with commitment is devotion. Love with wisdom is devotion.
Love without wisdom can turn into negativities: Love today, hate tomorrow. Love today, jealousy tomorrow. Love today, possessiveness tomorrow.
Love combined with wisdom is bliss, and that is devotion. Devotion is a strong bond, a sense of belongingness. Everybody is born with it. It’s just like becoming a child again.
Q: Guruji, why is singing an important part of thecourses? What’s the spiritual significance of singing?
Sri Sri: Youknow, knowledge and logic, and music are formed in two different parts of ourbrain and they’re both essential. That brings a balance in the system. Music isessential.
Q: How did you know you were a Guru? Did you have aGuru? Sometimes I wonder if I’m a Guru, maybe just for myself. What would yousay to that?
Sri Sri: You can’t be a surgeon for yourself. You may be a surgeon but you can’t be yourown surgeon, right? So your mother is your first Guru. A mother teaches you. Ofcourse, a Guru is one who is unconditional in his attitude and approach towardsyou. You should play a role of a Guru unconditionally. You help others or carefor someone with wisdom. Then you are playing the role of a Guru to them too.
If youhelp somebody with an attitude of ‘I want nothing, I just want your progress’then you’re a Guru to them. Yet don’t demand them to accept you as Guru. No, areal Guru does not demand anything, not even gratitude from somebody.
Sri Sri: When you say, I want nothing: that is happiness. When you are happy and are asked: 'Do you want anything?' you say ‘No, I want nothing.’
Q: There seems to be many wars and regional violencehappening in the world. What can we do to reduce the violence in the world?
Sri Sri: The root cause of violence is stress and anger. And the only way I know toreduce stress and anger is through meditation, pranyama, Sudarshan Kriya.This is the only way. You can do something with ayurveda, can change the diet…you can do those things, yet they are all secondary.
Q: I hear The Art of Living is involved in fighting corruptionin India? What can we do here in North America to fight corruption in oursociety?
Sri Sri: That you should think about. How should you tackle the situation? Corruption isat three levels. One is among people. People often accept corruption as a wayof life. Second the bureaucracy; and third, the politicians. There are goodpeople in every strata of life. And there are not so good people. We shouldbring them to The Art of Living course and teach them the breathing techniques.They'll become better.