Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Does your mission of lifting up the world get heavy at times? If so, what helps?
Sri Sri: All your work helps. When you write and talk about it. Prejudice in the world needs to be overcome. It’s much less but that hurdle needs to be overcome. And all of you can help. Everyone can help in reducing the prejudice.
Q: I have a question about karma. Can we wipe out past karma, can a Guru wipe out our karma? Can we start afresh?
Q: I heard you say this and I also strongly believe God is everywhere. How important is it to do Puja, or go to a pilgrimage place like Rishikesh, or take a bath in sacred places?
Sri Sri: It's like you have food at home and sometimes you go to a restaurant also. You don’t go to a restaurant because you don’t have food at home. Everything is everywhere and you enjoy the flavors equally.
Q: Is it humanly possible to love the Divine as much as the Divine loves me? I want to love the Divine more and more but this stupid ego, mind and body get in the way. How to stop it from coming in the way?
Sri Sri: The nature of love is such that it always feels it is not enough, not sufficient. In love, you will never feel that’s it, enough is enough. When you are in love you think you should do more, give more and love more. That sense of wanting more, that sense of in-completion. That’s why love is infinite. Infinite has no end, no boundary - more and more, never bored. Boredom means boundary.
Q: I have a strong tendency to be future-oriented. Always planning, imagining and having expectations from the future, clearly this doesn’t serve me. Despite my best efforts, I have not been able to free myself of this tendency. Please advice.
Q: Is there life on any other planet in the universe?
Q: Can you please say something about Sri Aurobindo and what his message and life were about?
Sri Sri: You know, when you are asking about Sri Aurobindo, you already know. He wished more and more people would meditate. So the seed he had sown meant greater access to the collective consciousness. It's happening now. Those days it was very dull, although a few French people really caught on to it.
Q: Can you explain the meaning of accidents and illness in our life? What does it mean when they keep happening to us, even when we do actions to take care of ourselves, like coming to this course?
Sri Sri: See, whether you come to the course or go shopping, it is the same. If you don’t stop at a red light or stop at a green light, someone will hit you. They don’t see you. When you falter with the traffic rules, or someone else falters, then you are in trouble. You are not in isolation; you are in connection with many other factors in life.
Q: The Bhagavad Gita is very close to my heart. And yet there is a passage in it that confuses me. It is when Arjuna wishes to flee the battle and renounce the world. But Krishna urges him to fulfill his duty by staying put and fighting.How is this advice understood with the principle of non-violence, a concept also central to the Gita? Is it similar to the notion of a just war in Christian and Islamic theology?
Sri Sri: The whole essence of the Gita is to act without being attached to the action. It's all about yoga, not about war but your attitude. When you are faced with a situation like war, how do you manage yourself? The worst situation in life is when you have to face a war and when you have to fight not with an enemy, but with some of your own people. When you have to fight with your own brothers and sisters, how do you handle the situation? It's easy to fight a war with an enemy, someone you don’t like. But fighting with someone who is part of your own family is the worst thing.
If you can manage your mind in the worst scenario, then you can manage yourself in any situation. Given the extreme example of how you can manage the mind, the consciousness, yourself, that’s the whole essence of the Gita, not the war. Skill in action is yoga.
A similar knowledge was taught by Ashtavakra, in the palace. When your spirit is very high and you want liberation, that was Ashtavakra's state. And when your spirit is so low, totally desperate, completely broken and depressed, that was Arjuna’s state. At that time the same knowledge of the Self was given to him in the Bhagavad Gita.
Q: Can you say something about angels, do they exist?
Sri Sri: Yes they exist. Angels are so filled with good intention, they are very benevolent. They do exist, not just in the physical bodies sitting here, but there are others in the ethereal bodies too.