Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Gurudev, what are the methodologies that I need to use to overcome inefficiency at my workplace? I have many people who are unable to cope up with the client's expectation. This sometimes makes me really angry.
Sri Sri: Do you know why people don’t perform their jobs well, or learn slowly? This is because their mind is clouded. They have not rested well. They have no security inside them, and they are not happy.
Teach them meditation. When they meditate, when they do a little breathing and meditation, they find calmness, happiness, and peace, and then they will be able to do so much better.
Meals and meditation; make this part of your company. With some meditation, the mind relaxes and it becomes sharp, alert, and more energetic to do work. That is how it works.
So meditation definitely helps to bring more productivity.
Q: Should we always meditate in sitting posture or can it be done in any other posture?
Sri Sri: The sitting posture is better to meditate. You could lie down and do it too, but the risk is that you may fall asleep. You may think you are in meditation, but actually you could be in deep slumber.
Q: Is meditation the most effective way of harmonizing that relationship?
Sri Sri: Any technique will have to lead you to meditation.
There is only one way to quench your thirst, i.e., by liquids. Only liquids can quench your thirst, right? It can be any liquid, but it has to be liquid, right? So, meditation is a state which is not waking, sleeping or dreaming; it is the fourth state, where your body is restful, and mind is alert.
Prayer and meditation are very close. In prayer, you are thanking or asking for something; whereas, from a layman’s point of view, in meditation, one is ready to listen. So, you could call meditation a higher form of prayer.
Meditation is a state of the mind; it is not just a process. It is also the final product.
Q: What is the relationship between meditation and God? I have read about the Advaita philosophies.
Sri Sri: If you think God is truth, beauty and love; yes, they are connected.
If God is the summum-bonum (highest good) of the whole creation, if the entire creation is made up of one thing, that one energy can be called God. It is what everything is made up of and it is connected to everything.
There is not one thing in the world that is not connected to God.
However, if you think God is a person sitting up there, somewhere, trying to give you a finger so you can catch hold of him, and then he goes away; that sort of God has nothing to do with what we are talking about.
If you see God as an energy, as a presence, as love, (love is the nearest emotion the human mind can comprehend), as that huge field of energy, then yes, there is no escape from it for anyone. We are all in it and will be in it. We were in it; and even if we are not there, it will be there.
Q: Are you saying we should all do yoga and not any other form of exercise such as aerobics or walking on the treadmill?
Sri Sri: I’m not saying that you should only do yoga. I am saying that yoga is a natural phenomenon, which occurs in creation all over the world. We all have done it as children. As you grow up, you may need aerobics; and if you eat too much, you may need to get on a treadmill to burn those calories.
Q: : Gurudev, how do you release guilt?
Sri Sri: Whenever a mistake has happened, that moment you were not knowledgeable, you were not aware. Your mind was not big. You were in your small mind. So acknowledge this and move on.
Again, Sudarshan Kriya and meditation will help you to get over this.
Q: How does one know if it is false enlightenment, or one is really enlightened?
Sri Sri: There is nothing called false enlightenment.
Enlightenment is there in your nature. Just like there is rice inside the paddy, knowledge is there within, you just need to remove the skin. Once this skin is removed, you will feel that you are not the body but the infinite. The mind is happy, content, and if you bless anyone, it will manifest.
Q: How would you compare the Art of Living techniques with Paramahansa Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga?
Sri Sri: Yes, that technique has more meditation on different chakras.
Q: How can one make meditation a regular practice?
Sri Sri: I have made a number of meditation CDs. You could use these CDs for a couple of days or weeks to begin with, and get into the habit of meditation. Once you get into practicing it regularly, you won’t need a CD, you will be able to do it by yourself. All you need is a little bit of practice of meditating, of letting go. It is all about letting go.
Q: How do we overcome heartache and find true love?
Sri Sri: Oh, if your heart is broken, see life from a bigger picture.
Before somebody broke your heart, then also you were alive, and now also you are alive, and life will go on.
There are seven billion people on this planet. And there are all types of people there. You got into somebody who is in the habit of breaking hearts. So never mind, move on.
You know, people come, they play their part in your life and they go. This is the world. Don’t be stuck to any one person or one thing that keeps bothering you. Be free!