Q: Please tell us about the importance of offering food (Prasad) to the Divine before eating. Also please tell us the authentic way of offering food. Is there any mantra needed? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The birds are such an
integral part of the universe.
So we need to care for the
birds, we need to care for the
ants; we need to care for
every single creature. Any
one creature missing from
the universe, the universe
will not be able to sustain
When a lady cooks food at home, the first thing she does is takes out a spoon of rice, or dal, or whatever she cooks, and puts it outside in the garden for the birds, for the ants, and for the creatures. The significance of this is to say that the environment should be honoured.
Also, many people, before they eat, they keep a few grains outside their plate and then later on they give it to the birds and the animals.
In India, there is a tradition that is called Vaishva Deva.
You know, the birds are such an integral part of the universe. So we need to care for the birds, we need to care for the ants; we need to care for every single creature. Any one creature missing from the universe, the universe will not be able to sustain itself.
Prasad means, you take the food that you receive as a gift; as a blessing. Prasad simply means a blessing from God. Food is a blessing, life is a blessing, time is a blessing, our breath is a blessing. These are all gifts.
Q: Why has Indian mythology given forms to all energies. Are all the mythological stories true?
How can Rishis lose control and curse if they are enlightened?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The universe is full of names and forms. The moment you give a name, form also comes with it. And many of these forms were cognized in the subtle. So they continue in the subtle realm.
Now, why did the Rishis (Seers) get angry and curse, I don't know. Usually not every Rishi does this. There were only a couple of them who did this. But every time they cursed, something great happened from their curse as well. That is why it is said, the anger of the enlightened also, does something good for the society, whereas even the love of an ignorant person does some harm.
A wise man's anger also is beneficial. He cannot do any harm, he only does good to the society.
So every time a Rishi cursed, it turned out to be a very big boon to the population.
Q: I think freedom is very relative. Sometimes my freedom is contradictory to someone else's freedom. Is there something as 'Absolute Freedom'? Or would that be chaos? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Bondage and freedom, both happens in the mind, and when your vision is restricted you find multiple bondages. As your vision expands, you start realizing that there is only freedom.
Q: What is the easiest way to stay away from attachment and entanglement? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Be centered. Know that this is all a dream and everything is going to finish. Everybody is going to finish, and one day everything will be over.
Turn back in the past and see, you have spent around 30 to 50 years on this planet, what happened to all those incidents? Everything has gone, right! Just wake up!
Q: Gurudev, how to move from choice to choicelessness? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: There is no choice between good and bad. Choice is always between bad and worse; or good and better. If you understand this then you see that there is no choice.
Q: Sometimes my love for you brings me misery when I cannot be with you. My mind says you are everywhere, but my heart is not easily cajoled. What should I do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Just relax and keep yourself busy. There is so much seva that is needed in the world, so get on to that.
Longing should be transformed into creativity. Longing can become an agent, a catalyst to bring out the creativity and dynamism in you. So use it for that.
Prasad means, you take the
food that you receive as a
gift; as a blessing. It simply
means a blessing from God.
Food is a blessing, life is a
blessing, time is a blessing,
our breath is a blessing.
These are all gifts.
Q: Dear Gurudev, I wonder whether you know me and everything that I do? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: What do you think?
Why should I know everything you do? I don't need to.
Q: What is the right type of governance? Isn't it time for a spiritual kind of governance? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, capitalism, communism, secularism, all isms are good for nothing, in fact, they will all be a failure without humanism. And how can humanism be invoked? It is through spirituality.
Q: Gurudev, the heart is located on the left side of the body. Is there any spiritual reason for this? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Well, there are many such questions. Why are there two holes in the nostrils. Why two eyes in the same place, one could have been in the front and one at the back.
What can one say to why the heart is on the left side. Something has got to be somewhere.
I think you didn't find any better question to ask.
I think you should wonder about other things in life. There are so many things that we need to do. The world needs more attention and more service from you.