Guruji, I want You to be with me always. What should I do for that?
Sri Sri: Just know I am with you. Do Sadhana, Seva, Satsang - that you don’t leave or forget. Do your duty, meditate, do your duty.
What is the difference between Dharana and Sankalpa?
Sri Sri: Dharana is keeping your mind on a specific thought, like what we do in the beginning of meditation. Like what we do in Yoga Nidra, we take our mind to different parts of the body. Similarly, we keep the attention on the breath or the top of the head, somewhere. This is called Dharana.
Jai Gurudev! Bringing us here saying you will show Guruji, you are only showing yourself?
Sri Sri: To see Guruji means, when you sit and close your eyes, you can see Guruji. Guruji is within you. When the heart blossoms, that is Guru tatva. The heart that continues to remain in the blossomed state is Guru. That is why Guru tatva is that tatva (state) which has both love and peace in it. How can you get that? Not by looking outward, but by turning inward. That is what you are doing now (in the Art of Meditation course) with your eyes closed from morning till evening. ‘See your breath, nose, tongue,’ ... being said in different ways. You may feel, ‘Oh have I come for this, they have made me sit with closed eyes.’
In the olden days, when people would take the dead body for cremation, they would tell the children, a swami with eyes closed is going by. You may think, ‘these people are making us sit with our eyes closed and making us closed-eye swamis. Without any work they are making us sit with our eyes closed’, and the mind runs and thinks, ‘let's open the eyes and see these people and see those people. What are they doing?’
When you open your eyes and see, everyone else will be sitting happily and peacefully. Then, the thought comes to the mind, ‘they have all got peace, and only I didn't get it’. You might think, ‘my mind (manas) is constantly running.’
Many such thoughts that you like and dislike will arise, and it will go away on its own too. Sit peacefully and follow what you are asked to do in the guided meditations. As you continue to do all that you are told, after some time your mind will become peaceful. Is that happening? There must be difference between yesterday and today. If you compare morning and evening, then you will notice that your mind was more peaceful in the evening.
What do I need to do take a good birth again?
Sri Sri: If you have satisfaction right now that is enough. While coming into the world, we come with desires. While leaving, if you leave with satisfaction and fulfillment, you will have a good life. If you have good thoughts in the mind, you will get a good life. You don't have to worry at all.
What is Divine love?
Sri Sri: That love which is free from expectations. We show love and based on that we carry out a business. How? 'When you were young, I brought you up, right? What have you done for me?' This is business. Do you understand that? A love that is free from all expectations is Divine love.
How can I always stay in Sakshi bhaav(witness state)?
Sri Sri: Drop (the word) 'always'. When it is possible, stay in Sakshi bhaav, that is enough. It is (the word) ‘always’ that creates complications.
In the (Mahabharata) war field, Krishna showed Arjuna his Vishwa roopa. When will you show your vishwa roopa?
Sri Sri: The conch has not yet been blown for start of war! Krishna showed the Vishwa roopa only to Arjuna. First you become Arjuna. How to become like Arjun? What is Arjuna? To prayerfully request for knowledge and to progress is Arjun.
Change is permanent in life. Does the knowledge in the Bhagavad Gita change as per the changing times?
Sri Sri: Bhagavad Gita has all the topics. We have to understand that. It has knowledge as per the time.
Guruji, what is the significance of Devi Puja?
Sri Sri: It was good no? Devi Puja is so nice. See the corn is hard, but when you put it in the popping machine with a little butter and little salt, what happens? The corn pops up and becomes popcorn, fluffy and very nice. Similarly within everyone, every individual, the energy (Shakti) is there. In Puja, what happens? Shakti blossoms, gets up lifted and opens up. There is no place that is devoid of Shakti. But in many places it is sleeping. Here in Devi Puja it awakens it up.
Devi energy (shakti) is there within all of us. Devi is not somewhere else, not in some other world. It is within us - Devi Shakti. To make that Shakti grow stronger is called Puja.
If we sit deep in meditation, the glow within the body will brighten, and will expand and spread outside. That is Devi Puja.
Despite having Sri Krishna, why did Pandavas have to go to hell?
Sri Sri: No, some other time we will discuss Mahabharath. Right now the Mahabharath is against corruption. So all of us, everyone should join the fight against corruption.
To eliminate corruption and set things right, all should take effort. You have done well in Tamil Nadu. You did good work to eliminate corruption. The work is not over with that. More work is there.
Guruji, there is a greater energy guiding us in all our activities. How responsible are we for our work?
Sri Sri: In this world, there are some things that we can do, and some things that we cannot do. For example, how much is your height? Say 5 feet 6 inches. Beyond 22 or 23 years of age will your height increase? No, it won't increase. We have to take accept that as it is. But (consider) your weight - if it is 50, you can make it 60. If it is 100, you can make it 70. Is it not so? That we can change.
In the same way, when a cow is tied at one place, the distance the cow can move depends on the length of the rope. But the cow cannot go beyond the length of the rope. It can roam around only as much as the length of the rope permits. In the same way, in life there is some freedom, some things that we do, and there are some things that are not in our hands.
In my life, I have not loved anyone other than you. Whose fan are you?
Sri Sri: I am your fan; when it is very hot, (I am) a fan that gives a cool breeze - that is what I think. When you come tired, (I am) a fan that gives comfort.
When someone dear to us dies, how to get out of the sorrow?
Sri Sri: By knowledge; the Knowledge that, ‘they have gone today, and after some years even we have to go. All of who have come here (on this planet), have come only to depart. All those who have departed, have departed only to come back. This we should think is certain.’
That is why, to those who depart say, ‘you go ahead, I will come later and see you. I will complete my work here and after some years I will meet you’. Saying this, show them the way. Don't sit and keep thinking, ‘Oh no! They have gone away.’
In our nation, they have stated very nicely in our sastras(scriptures), ‘for ten days only you be in that sorrow; forget it on the eleventh day. Leave that and live happily’. They do Rekyam on thirteenth day - it means celebration. There are celebrations on the thirteenth day, wearing new clothes and eating special sweets and snacks (bhakshanam).
And then sesame seed is offered as tarpanam for the departed soul, do you know why?
‘If you have any desires, leave them. It is like sesame seed. Why do you suffer with small desires? Go with satisfaction (tripti)’. That is why they say ‘Tarpanam’ means, ‘may you get tripti. After the leaving the body let the soul (atma) get tripti. Doing tarpanam for mother, father, their parents… Calling out forefathers’ names and saying, ‘be satisfied (tripti); leave small desires that are in your mind. Those will get fructified on their own. It is just like a sesame seed. Don’t worry.’ In those days, mustard and sesame seeds were examples of very small things. An insignificant thing was referred to as sesame seed, in a derogatory sense.
In our country we have had this wonderful custom (sampradaya) of conveying to our forefathers and deceased. In a similar way, (the practice of) ‘giving the pindam’. ‘Pindam’ refers to body. The spirit, that has left the body, will have desire to get another body. At that time, the son, grandson, some relative, or daughter (also allowed) offers ‘pindam’.
‘Don’t worry you will get another body. Go forward. Don’t look back. Obtain bliss. Many more worlds are there to see, so go forward. You will get another body.’ This consolation is giving ‘Pinda’. ‘Be in bliss. Why think of the body? You can be born in our family itself’. It is mostly for satisfying the mind. It is enough if you do meditation. Then it is not necessary to do other things. In meditation, mind is at rest and peaceful, (with) the feeling, ‘I am not this body; I am beyond this body.’ So do meditation without fail.
What is necessary for man – money, skill, luck or faith?
Sri Sri: All are necessary. If you ask, ‘what is necessary for man – teeth, nose, ears, or eyes?’, what will I say?
To eat a sweet (adirsam), you need teeth; if you want to smell it you need the nose; if you want to see it, you need eyes. Ears are also necessary. All are necessary in life. To realize which is appropriate at a particular time, is viveka(discrimination).
You have reformed terrorists. Then why not reform those who are doing unwanted things in the name of spirituality?
Sri Sri: Some people will not change in life, because they are like that. Can you convert a snake, or a scorpion into a cow? We have to understand this is a snake, this is a scorpion, and this is a cow. (You) cannot think of reforming some people. You can correct terrorists. But it is difficult to correct those who do evil intentionally. Not that it is impossible; but it is difficult. Their lineage also exists for a long time. Ravana also donned garb of a sage and abducted Sita. There are some fake sages like Ravana these days also. What to do? For some time it will go on, then suddenly they’ll have a fall. It is not good for them. Those who follow desires will get a lesson. For our part, we should take good from everywhere.
There is a saying in Sanskrit, ‘Durjanam Prathamam Vande Sujanam Tadanantaram’. Worship the bad person also. The bad people are ruining themselves and teaching you a lesson., So convey your gratitude to them - since at their cost, while falling in a pit and getting ruined - they are teaching you a lesson.
What is hollow and empty? If you can record it in Tamil in your voice, it will be very nice.
Sri Sri: That can be done. To know what it is, close your eyes and listen, and you will know automatically. It cannot be killed, by expressing it in words.
There will be testing times in life; but what to do if problems become life?
Sri Sri: You have come here. You have come to the right place. How many of you are getting your desires fulfilled after undergoing the practice here? Raise your hands. See you have come to the right place. Sit here with faith, do meditation and then leave. Do you know there is a rule in the ashram? This is the rule in the ashram: you can bring your worries here, but you cannot take them back with you.
Just like the wonderful environment of the ashram, how do I bring about this environment in my life and home?
Sri Sri: You should take responsibility to create a beautiful environment in your home. It is not enough if you just take care of your home. Continue giving this knowledge and practice to all people among your contacts. Provide opportunity for everyone in the house to do meditation.
Avatars (incarnations) waged wars. When is your war and with whom?
Sri Sri: Our war is ongoing. To remove ignorance is a big war; it is going on. All of you join. You are all soldiers. To remove ignorance, and to eliminate corruption, our war is going on. (corruption is oozhal in Tamil, azhimathi in Malayalam)