Gurudev, why is a mantra given as a whisper; so secretly? Does the mantra loses its power if given in open?
Sri Sri: You know what psychology says, if there is anything in your mind that is bothering you, speak it out. Bring it to the field of expression. Then you are free of it.
We want the mantra to stay inside. We don’t want it to be in the field of expression. We want that mantra to remain in the mind and take the mind deeper. So for your mind to go deeper, you need to have a mantra which is not in the field of expression; which is secret. That is why it is given secretly. A secret stays deeper in your heart, deep in your consciousness.
So mantra is a vehicle for the mind to dwell deeper into the consciousness. That is why it needs to be given secretly.
The mantra given to me may be a very open (common) mantra, but my mantra (the one given to me), I keep it a secret so that I can go deeper into meditation.
This is the idea from ancient times. It is so scientific.
There are mahamantras that everybody can chant loudly. But a personal mantra is what one has to keep secret. That is what we give you in the meditation course, i.e., the Sahaj Mantra. You keep it to yourself and don’t bring it into the field of expression. But other mantras like ‘Om Namah Shivay’, and 'Om', these can be chanted loudly. They enhance the vibrations.
Gurudev, in Gita, Lord Krishna speaks about swadharma and paradharma, whereas in Mahabharata period, there was no religion other than Sanatana Dharma. Could you please explain this?
Sri Sri: Mat and Sampradaaya (sects) are different and Dharma is different. You are confusing the two. Sampradaaya means traditions.
Dharma cannot not be translated into any other language. It is the nature of the individual. If one had to translated, the closest translation is one's righteous nature.
So Dharma is your innate tendencies, your inborn qualities. So when Lord Krishna says, 'Swadharme nidhanam shreyah', he is saying, be with your inborn tendencies and inborn qualities and don't just imitating others. Being natural, being in your own nature is Swadharma.
Gurudev, what is atma and paramatma and what is the relation between the two? And who are Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva?
Sri Sri: It is said that in the beginning there was just energy. That one energy, that one Divine light thought, I am alone, let me multiply into many. Eko'ham bahu syam (I am one, may I be many), and it assumed the form of Para Shakti (Mother Divine). Then from that came out three energies, i.e., Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The creative impulse, the protective impulse and the transformative or destructive impulse. So three streams of energy that are called Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
That is why it is said, in the beginning there was just one Omkar (the primordial sound). And the Omkar became 'Aa', 'Uu' and 'Ma'. We think 'Aa', 'Uu' and 'Ma' together made Omkar, no! Om was the beginning, and this one impulse expanded into three different impulses or devtas (deities).
So one paramathma or one divinity multiplied into many so that this diverse creation can come into play.
All the scientists say in the beginning there was only one amoebiasis. From one amoebiasis all the species in the universe have sprung up.
Gurudev, you have said that everything changes in this world. I want to know if knowledge also changes from time to time. We have been reading the same Bhagavad Gita for several years. Is it still relevant?
Sri Sri: Knowledge has different levels of understanding.
At different states of consciousness knowledge reveals a different aspect (of itself). Knowledge does not change, it is there, but it gives you a higher meaning when your consciousness opens up; when your consciousness blossoms.
Gurudev, in today’s world, America is going through an economic upheaval which is affecting so many other countries. Is there some karma that affects nations as a whole as well?
Sri Sri: America took a very wrong step when it went to war with Iraq. It spent one billion dollars every day for so many years. For five to six years, America kept spending one billion dollars per day. Can you imagine, trillions of dollars were spent in this war on Iraq to find the weapon of mass destruction which was never there? So it drained itself of a lot of resources. Naturally there is a big crisis now.
But I want to assure you, America will come out of this crisis. We don’t need to be too worried or concerned about it.
Only thing is, America should not venture for another war somewhere.
See, dialogue is the way. Iraq has gone from bad to worse. Today Iraq is in such a bad shape. There is bomb blast every single day. People are killed every day. Is this democracy? Is this a new change that anybody would have welcomed or liked?
These are the lessons. These are the big questions we need to look into.
America lost so many soldiers, and so many soldiers who were in the war are so traumatized. Nobody has gained from this war. World has not gained. America has not gained. Iraq has certainly not gained anything out of this war. Instead if there was a dialogue, countries like India could have played a big mediation role. Could have cleared many misunderstandings.
Anyways that is a thing of the past. But learn from this past mistake. In future, know that weapons or war is not an answer for peace. In fact, the intention of war is to bring peace. But it becomes completely opposite.
Gurudev, some religious doctrines differentiate between soul and spirit. It is said that the soul is banished when the person dies and only spirit is incarnated. Reincarnation is only for humans who have ego. What is the Vedic interpretation?
Sri Sri: The Vedic idea is very close to the scientific theory of thermodynamics, i.e., energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Body goes back into the planet as the five elements. The spirit which is energy remains with the spiritual body. The spirit, then again out of the impressions that it left the body with, comes back. It finds a suitable body and comes back.
Today the question of re-birth is established beyond any doubt. Today many clinics of the world use past life regression as a therapy to heal people and bring wellness to people.
So this question whether rebirth exists or not is proved beyond doubt. I tell you, it is there. I know it is there, so I tell you with authority.
If you ask me, prove it. I cannot prove it to you, but I tell you it is there.
Gurudev, what is the significance of chanting the mantra 108 times? Is it better to chant a mantra 10 times with concentration than to speedily chant it 108 times?
Sri Sri: You already know this! If you can do it slowly and with concentration, it is better. Even if you do it fast, then also it is fine. At least you are doing it. Do it any way.
Now why 108 times? Because there are nine planets and twelve constellations. When nine planets revolve around the twelve constellations, it brings 108 kinds of changes. If there is anything wrong in these changes, it can be rectified with the positive energy of the mantras.
Gurudev, you say that two questions will be asked in the end, how much love we gave, and how much knowledge we took? I have always taken love and given knowledge. What will be my fate now?
Sri Sri: At least you have understood this much!
All this time you have enjoyed giving knowledge, now start taking knowledge and giving love. How much ever love you have received, give more than that to other, and you are done.
The car has taken a 'U' turn then. It was going in the wrong direction, the driver realized his fault and changed the direction.
Does it mean that we stop sharing knowledge? No, there is no need to stop. Continue giving knowledge. Whatever you receive, you give that. And give that knowledge with love. Don’t give it to inflate your ego. That person needs this knowledge, share knowledge with this intention.