Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Something binds the body to the soul. What is this binding factor and what prompts it to part ways after sometime?
Sri Sri: Impressions in the soul binds it to the body. That is what is called Karma.
Q: Guruji, I think I am suffering from chronic boredom problem. I get bored of everything very easily. I get bored of situations, of people, of places. Is there a cure to my problem?
Sri Sri: Boredom! What do you do when you get bored of everything?! Let me think what you can do!
This is because you are thinking only about yourself. When you don’t know what pleasure you will get you get bored because this world cannot really give you satisfaction, it can only bore you but if you come from a place of giving and not getting then you won’t be bored. You will think what can I do, how can I be of great use. If you think on those lines and dedicate your life for a cause then boredom does not arise but if you are seeking joy in action then you will get bored. Boredom is simply what?!
You are seeking joy in action which you didn’t get. You are seeking for some joy in the world which you didn’t get and then you got bored. In the beginning it gave you some happiness, a particular object or situation but when you kept repeating it you got bored. So stop seeking joy in activity know that you are joy and then you won’t look for joy and get disappointed or get bored, yeah!
Q: Guruji, why is the opening of the third eye associated with the destruction of desires?
Sri Sri: You know the third eye is associated with alertness and awareness. When you are alert, awake, more into knowledge then naturally the energy has moved from the lowest chakra to the highest. The lower things no more interest you. You know when you are very alert and awake the sexual energy has transformed itself into a different quality of consciousness. The sexual energy is when the back portion of our brain, our head is activated. Alertness, perception and awareness happen when the front portion of the brain is activated; the pituitary and pineal glands are getting activated. In the brain also they are on the opposite sides of each other. So it is mythologically said when the third eye opens then the gross desires simply evaporate, not that it is bad but they simply don’t make much sense anymore. That is why the intellectuals and the highly spiritual oriented practitioners always put something on the forehead, some sandal wood paste because they are focusing; doing some yoga and meditation so they put some sandal wood to cool the forehead, to cool it a little bit.
When the frontal lobe of the brain becomes more active, more alert, then thinking, intellectual work, creativity, memory they are all enhanced because all of these things are in the frontal lobe of the brain and sensory pleasures are all at the back of the brain.
Q: Dearest Guruji, Jai Gurudev! Once I am on this path is my spiritual progress your responsibility or my responsibility? If it is yours then why is my progress full of obstacles and slow, and if it is mine then why is my effort so poor. Please help me!
Sri Sri: Now that you are asking this question it is both of our responsibility. Yes, do your 100% and relax and when you feel that you can do a little better or a little more that indicates that you have been responsible. When you feel you are doing everything that you can then the responsibility shifts away from you.
Q: What is the meaning of the opening of the third eye and what do I feel when I experience this happening?
Sri Sri: It is intuition, don’t think there is an eye opening like this and something is popping up from your head. You get a bump or a hole in your forehead, no! You know you close your eyes still you feel some light; you may see or you may feel, it can be both ways. If someone says I am going to open your third eye and this and that, just don’t go into those things. I tell you, definitely not, it is simply hoax because I have seen so many people claiming to open the third eye and nothing happens really, people get a headache, an incurable headaches many times and you get into problems. You know many such cases come to us for repair, so if someone says I want to open your third eye tell them, thank you very much, I am happy with two eyes. The deeper you go in meditation your intuitive ability develops.
Q: Guruji what is the use of Seva? How does it help meditation?
Sri Sri: Listen, suppose you are stranded in some place and you need someone to give you a lift in their car or taxi and nobody stops their car to give you a lift, how would you feel?
You are carrying two bags and you have to go to the restroom in a railway station. You can’t leave the bags unattended and you have to go to the restroom, what will you do? You will find some nice elderly person, go to them and keep the bags with them requesting them to take care while you go for five minutes to the restroom. Don’t you need other’s help? If they refuse to help you then how can you survive? You know in this world as human beings we have to help each other and that is what seva is.
Seva means what? ‘Sa’ means ‘him’ which refers to God and ‘Eva’ means ‘like him’; doing things like him. God does so many things for you but does not expect anything in return from you. Whether you pray to him, thank him or not he will still continue to do. He is not doing you a favor. When you thank God, that is for your own joy, it does not matter to God. In the same way whether people acknowledge your work or not, whether they thank you or not you still do it because you find that it is important to do!
Q: Guruji, you say the love is great and fearless. Then why is it that the person I am in love with is so fearful?
Sri Sri: The one you are in love with is fearful? Okay! That we don’t know how much you have scared him that he has become so fearful. First see whether the person you are in love with is also in love with you.
See, sometimes we think we love someone but we don’t even know how to properly express our love to another. It is very hard to express how much love you are feeling in your heart to someone else. How are you going the express? With words you will not be able to express. Something as deep as love does not come in the realm of expression. It is very difficult to express and sometimes when you try very hard and with a lot of effort to express this love people get scared. The other person should also know how to accept and receive your love isn’t it? That’s why it is important to know to how to express and how much of our love to express to each person, yeah!
Just imagine you have someone day and night calling you again and again and telling you, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’, then what you will say, okay, yes, you love me, fine what next, right?!
So until we do not turn towards wisdom we are not able to properly express or receive love, for that also there is some eligibility. With wisdom one is so full of love that love exudes from every action. In life when we embrace the divinity then all our relationships blossom by themselves but if you try to fix your relationships one by one it does not work. From one side things will get better and from the other side it will get worse, so you be centered in yourself, be in devotion and everything else will be taken care of.
Q: Even after putting 100 percent effort, the work doesn’t get done. What does one do then?
Sri Sri: For success or work to get done there are five things you require. First the intention of the person who is doing, then availability of the instruments or things needed to do the work, third is the willingness or mindset to do the work. Then doing the work at the right time, there is a time to do the work, if you don’t do it at the right time then there is no use. If you sow seeds in February then there is no use, you then cannot say that I sowed the seeds but nothing has come. You have to wait till April after the rain and then you sow the seeds and yield the results. So time is a very important factor. When we came to this Ashram this whole land was barren, there was not one leaf or one tree on this land. Today see how many trees and plants are there and these trees did not come in one day, so many people have put lots of effort and after some time the trees grew. So this is how time is an important factor and then grace. Without grace of the divine there will be no success, that is why you do Seva, Sadhana, Satsang and in time you will get the fruits of all your efforts. Okay! None of your efforts will go waste that you should be assured about, if not now you will see the results later.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Wealth is not just having money. You can have a big balance, you can have a big estate but on your face if you are stressed and you’re so miserable, no one can call you prosperous. Prosperity is not just having a fat bank balance. Prosperity is in acknowledging the magnanimity of life, honoring life. The confidence in a person shows his richness. What is wealth suppose to do to you? Enhance confidence right but if wealth has created weakness then it is no wealth, if wealth has created sickness then it’s no wealth, if wealth has created conflicts then it is no wealth, right! So one type of wealth is wisdom, knowledge is wealth, health is wealth, confidence is wealth, valor is wealth. If you have confidence you can manage anything, you can handle any situation that is wealth.
Q: Why is there so much unhappiness in the world today?
Sri Sri: Unhappiness is due to two things, one in lack of resources in some parts of the world; if they get water they will be happy, if they get food they will be happy. In the other part of the world it is lack of spirituality. In one place the body is starving so there is unhappiness, and in another place the soul is starving and so there is unhappiness. We at The ‘Art of Living’ have to do both jobs, provide food to the body and food to the soul and that’s what we are doing.
Q: Dearest Guruji, you are my favorite in the whole world and my world revolves around you. How do I become your favorite?