Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What is the difference between Yoga and Sudarshan kriya?
Sri Sri: Unfortunately, Yoga is considered as just the physical exercises. It is just a beginning, physical exercise is just one part of it. But, then comes the breath and the mind. Tapping the inner source of energy is important. Yoga is never complete without meditation. Sudarshan kriya takes you to the deepest meditation where body, mind and breath comes in the rhythm connecting to the source of life deep within.
Q: How to strike a balance between development and preserving the planet?
Sri Sri: How do you balance a bicycle? In the same way! In ancient India, there was this thing that if you have to cut a tree, you have to do a ceremony. In ceremony, you promise the tree that you will plant five of its kind and then only ask for permission to cut? It is almost like you are talking to the tree. People in tribal areas were all caring for environment a lot.
They considered the mountains sacred, rivers sacred, trees sacred… The sacredness allows you to honor the nature, that allows you to protect and respect the nature respect. Native Americans used to consider the nature sacred, they would never put the mines and blast the earth.
Q: Dear Guruji, is it possible to love and stay strong? Is it possible to love andstay reasonable? Is it possible to be in love and stay dispassionate? Is it possible to be in love and be free from jealousy and possession?
Sri Sri: Definitely. It is possible to stay in such a state of love without any of these negative connotations with that – if there is wisdom. Love with wisdom is bliss. Love minus wisdom is what you have mentioned; all this jealousy, greed, all this paraphernalia.
Q: What is the connection between being like a child and taking a responsibility?
Sri Sri: You take the responsibility, that’s another thing ; being like a child does not hinder your responsibility. In fact it helps you take a responsibility.
What is the difference between being like a child and being childish? In childishness, you don’t take responsibility! Being like a child you take responsibility, yet you are natural, be connected with every body, take feedback from every one, and not get upset about someone’s comment about you or a criticism. You know, we explode when someone makes a negative remark on us or someone criticizes us. So, we should stand up to the criticism, and take criticism freely. If it is useful, inculcate it. And if not, ignore it without losing your cool.
Q: I do not know how to express my feelings and emotions as I was trying to hide them; all the stress goes into myself. I do not know what to do with this. Is it very difficult to empty my mind even while meditating with your guidance?
Sri Sri: Hmm! If you get too many thoughts, there are certain reasons. One of the reasons, for getting too many thoughts, is when your bowel is not clear, when your stomach is upset, constipated. If your bowel movements are not ok then you get too many thoughts. If there is no proper blood circulation in the body, then also you get too many thoughts, yeah? So, yoga and pranayama will help. Proper food and diet will help. Show to Ayurvedic doctor, he will say if there is too much pitta in your system, then he will suggest the food that will also help.
Q: Dearest Guruji, I have prayed for your coming here this week. Thank you so much, I’m deeply grateful. I’d like you to talk about prayers
Sri Sri: Prayers happens when you feel utterly helpless or when you feel totally grateful. The third condition when prayer happens is when you are in wisdom. Then you see that the quality of the consciousness has expanded beyond its limitations and has risen to another plane, another dimension which is so fulfilling, so intuitive and so full of wisdom and love.
Q: How important is it that we act for planet? What can we do? How do we sustain?
Sri Sri: We need to wake up and see that planet is our home and when you go higher, you don’t see borders. Borders are our understanding, our illusions. There really is no border. Sky knows no border, clouds know no border, wind knows no border. The elements of this earth have no borders. The planet is one home for every one. We are all one family. So, we need to think from a broader perspective. Which is the correct perspective? That the whole planet belongs to us. We cannot dump our nuclear waste into some other place.
Any place in the earth will again come back to us! We cannot keep one place clean and pure in isolation. It is not possible. We have to care for the whole planet. We have to make the entire planet organic. When it comes to making food, growing food; you cannot say, “ok, I’ll grow organic food only in this part and rest other parts can be pollute with chemicals!” Because the air will carry! We have created so many types of viruses on this planet. Because we meddled with nature. We have destroyed many species on this planet because we have not taken good care of it and our food production has gone so low. That it’s going to be a very heavy thing on the coming generation, you know! I think every individual, every human being on the planet will have to take responsibility of not polluting the planet, of continuing sustainable development by planting more trees, preserving our lakes, preserving water. It is so important!
Water scarcity is another big issue in the world. Millions of people are into starvation! So, we need to have a global picture and care for the whole planet. Of course, we need to care for our immediate home, our immediate neighbors, the place where we live in. This is most important! But at the same time, we should have the idea about the whole planet and the entire humanity being a family.
Q: How can we use our love to transform nature? These days there are lots of natural disasters happening and can we do something to control them or prevent them?
Sri Sri: This will happen slowly. If you start loving trees and plant more trees, it will definitely have an impact. You know, mining is the biggest disaster that we have created. We put so many explosives under the ground and blast them. Earth is a living organism, it is not a dead object. So, if we put in its tummy and blast it, the earth starts shaking more and more, earth quake happens more and more. Mining is the biggest cause of natural disaster that we are creating. And second is cutting off the trees. There is so much attention about tree plantation or about going green, but, nobody is talking about the explosives that we are using for mining. This we have to see.
Q: Dearest Guruji, I’m not strong enough to take a commitment for whole one year. What can I do?
Sri Sri: Not strong enough? Take one day at a time. You are strong enough to take commitment for one day,that is enough. And each day you can continue doing it. Don’t think of one long year, “oh my God! One year I’ve to do something! Today I do, that’s good. Tomorrow I do, that’s good”.
Q: How does Sudarshan kriya help in curing illnesses?
Sri Sri: You know Sudarshan Kriya helps in preventing many illnesses. A professor who is working on genes in Oslo university,Norway says that there are 300 chromosomes which are responsible for hypertension, cancer etc. And Pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya suppress these 300 chromosomes. So, if one keeps practicing these techniques there is less and less chance for getting these illnesses.