Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What do I do so that everything I wish for comes true?
Sri Sri: Think carefully! If everything you wish for comes true, you will be asking ‘why!’ very soon! A king prayed to God to grant him a boon – that everything he touched should turn to gold. God granted his wish and he was very happy - but only for a few minutes. He was thirsty and wanted water. It turned to gold as he touched it. His food turned into gold and even his little daughter, when he touched her. The king became very disturbed and prayed that the boon be taken away.
Just look back and see – as a child, what did you want to become? An engine driver? Nowadays children have many toys. Around 3—40 years ago, the only thing a child wanted to be was an engine-driver or a pilot. Many things that you desired, you have stopped liking them now. The Divine will give what is best for you. Move ahead with that faith. If you have a desire, don’t think that you should not pray for it. Just think – Let me get this, or something better.
Q: Why do disasters and natural calamities happen?
Sri Sri: We are exploiting the planet, using atom bombs, bursting them under water - so many nuclear weapons are being tested secretly under the water like this. The earth cannot bear it. Trees are being cut, so many toxins are being pumped into the ground, the earth is being mined and all the minerals are being removed – all this has to change. We must promote chemical-free farming methods. Our country’s corn is small. Imported corn is bigger. Our rice grains are small, imported grains are larger. But our grains are much more healthy. We must protect our indigenous seeds. Our cow’s dung and urine has medicinal properties. Protect desi cows and seeds. Imported hybrid seeds give good yield for the first two or three years but deplete the soil completely. Thousands of farmers in Maharashtra committed suicide because of this. We must encourage natural methods of farming.
Q: How do we get our sankalpas accomplished?
Sri Sri: These cell phones are so powerful that you can reach anybody in the world through it. So, the mind which has made these cell phones, won’t that be more powerful than this? If these radiations can produce such effect, what effect would human radiations produce?
The Sankalpa that one takes for the goodness of society, that definitely gets accomplished. Drop your worries and the Divine will care of you. Be in the innocent state of surrender.
Q: Why are spiritual leaders mostly men?
Sri Sri: Spirituality transcends gender. Men and women are equal. There are many vacancies here for women who would like to become swamis also! They should come to the forefront as well.
Q: What is the difference between mind and intellect?
Sri Sri: This is like asking me, what is the difference between a jack fruit and a banana? If they are the same, you would not ask. The mind is not in one place, it surrounds the body.
Q: Will seva help to destroy the ego?
Sri Sri: If you have ego, keep it in your pocket. Don’t try to destroy it because that effort will only increase it. Be natural like a child. If it’s there, doesn’t matter. When you feel a separation or distance between yourself and others, then ego arises. We don’t have ego with our family or those who are closest with us. Similarly we don't have an ego issues with people whom we don’t know at all. It happens only with people we know a little. We develop an ego. If everybody belongs to you, or nobody belongs to you, then there is no ego.
It is important to have child-like naturalness. When we are worried about what other people are saying about us, then there is ego. Even when you are doing good, there will be some people who will find fault with it. Similarly, there will be people to praise even if the person is corrupt. So, don't worry about it. If you make a mistake, accept it. That is intelligence. In the same way, others can also make mistakes. Don’t wait for them to ask for forgiveness. You forgive and move on. A mistake happened. Drop it. Don’t keep thinking of past mistakes and chewing on it like gum. It is like churning up a pile of garbage. You must save your mind at all costs.
If you save your mind, then you can be free from desires and needs. When you can bless others, even their needs are fulfilled. That’s why people take blessings from the elders of the house. As you grow older, you become more content. But that is not the case all the time. As people grow older, they collect worries and desires. Only when you are free from worries and desires, you gain the capacity to bless. At some point, you have to say, ‘I am content’. That strength comes from spirituality.
When you realize who you are, all your needs are fulfilled. Your biggest enemy is your mind. That is why we do so many things to calm the mind. Take blessings and be happy.
Many millions have benefitted from the Sudarshan Kriya. Many, many are waiting. Take a sankalpa – ‘Let the whole world also get the joy that I have got.’
Q: Sometimes, doing seva, I get tired and frustrated.
Sri Sri: That can happen. When you’re in activity, there will be fatigue in the body, the energy levels can go down. Sometimes this happens due of the effect of time as well. However, we must simply continue and not stop. A little pranayam and meditation can restore your energy levels and refresh you. This is where satsang is so important. We are recharged when we sit in satsang and can do seva with renewed energy.
Q: Can yagyas and mantras burn karma?
Sri Sri: Meditation and pranayam will burn karma. Yagyas also do it. However without being in a meditative space, yagyas do not give the same benefits.
Q: What makes a person an achiever: science or spirituality?
Sri Sri: While watching television, what is more important? Seeing or hearing? You need both.
In the same way, in life too, we need both.
Q: Should I listen to my wife or Guru?
Sri Sri: This is a trick question but I am not going to get caught!(Laughs) If your wife says something, you will say, ‘Let me listen to my Guru’ and if your Guru says something, you will say, ‘What to do, my wife does not agree!’ Finally you will do only what you want! This has been the case with man always! So I say, "Choice is yours, blessings mine!’