After experiencing happiness and laughter in life, what else does a person need to ask for?
Sri Sri: It is meaningless to ask, ‘What should I desire?’ Desires arise by themselves based on the need of the hour. To desire a desire is impossible. Desires are not bad. However, we need to see that the desires are not in opposition to viveka (the power to discriminate between truth and untruth, dharma (righteousness) and adharma etc). In the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says, ‘I am those desires that uphold dharma.’
Viveka gives you the awareness to save yourself (from desires that do not uphold dharma). It is necessary to awaken viveka within us. Do not try to suppress desires, awaken viveka in you. Through viveka, there is a transformation in the quality of desires that arise in us.
How can I decide which actions will give me happiness?
Sri Sri: Those actions which may seem to bring short term unhappiness yet bring long term happiness are good. Those that seem to bring short term benefits but bring long term misery are bad.
Where did you get the inspiration to create such a beautiful place?
Sri Sri: When the mind is pleasant, so is the world. Wherever in the world, people come together to meditate in our courses, they say that they feel like they are in heaven. Also, places where people come together to meditate acquire significance. Wherever you are, you can create a heaven around you!
When I met you recently at the end of my first advanced meditation program that I took, here in the ashram. I didn’t feel that I was meeting you for the first time.
Sri Sri: That is how it is! Our connection to Divine love is ancient! Whenever I meet you I never feel that it is the first time. I have known you from Lifetimes. The heart searches for the old. That’s why it is said that friendships are old. The mind searches for something new - latest trends, what is new today? Both are required. The joy of being established is the self is nit nutan, eternal and new.
Is dispassion connected to upbringing or past impressions?
Sri Sri: Vairagya or dispassion is associated with viveka or the power of discrimination. When we were small children, we wanted to have cotton candy or lollipops and toys. As we grew up, these desires dropped by themselves. We became dispassionate about toys but got attached to something else. In course of time, desires drop effortlessly. When we move ahead with awareness then our attachments drop even faster, and with love. It doesn’t mean that you throw everything out of your house! There is no desire to procure anything. Irrespective of the desire being fulfilled, there is no feverishness or attachment.
Despite having everything , what does the mind want to procure? Why is it restless?
Sri Sri: It is a blessing if you are not content with small material things! The longing for the divine is the divine himself! One who is without longing has no juice in his life, no knowledge and no celebration.
Who am I? Who is the Master?
Sri Sri: First ask yourself, ‘Who am I?’ Until you find the answer to this, there is no way to even begin to understand the Master.
Why don’t we remember our past lifetimes?
Sri Sri: You will. Go deep in meditation. When you meditate, it is possible to see your past lifetimes. In a way, it is good that you do not remember until you are established in the knowledge. Otherwise you will be caught up in wanting to know how much you earned in your previous lives, where you saved it, who is enjoying it and how you can still get it! Knowledge of your past lifetimes will be revealed to you only when your consciousness is established in the present moment.
What is the difference between ego and self-esteem?
Sri Sri: No one can take away your self esteem from you. Ego cannot be sustained and so it troubles you. When there is satva (pure energy) and wisdom, ego does not trouble you. Ego needs the presence of the other. Self esteem does not.
How do we experience fullness?
Sri Sri: What is it that you lack? Recognize this first. Because of this lack you feel sad. When you feel sad and helpless, then you pray. Offer your limitations, instead of only offering money in places of worship. The Divine is ready to accept all your weaknesses or limitations.
That Divinity which is complete, resides in you. The Divine is eternal, omniscient and omnipotent. Knowing that you are a part on that Divinity, how can you feel limited or incomplete?
Know that you are complete with the help of knowledge, devotion and rightful actions. Even if you do not know, have faith that you are complete. You do not have to achieve it. There is air around us. We have to know it or believe it. But we don't have to achieve it because it is already there! Similarly, without the Divine, we do not exist.
How is the Divine? What does He do? These are meaningless questions. The Divine is there. The Divine is my very own. I am a part of the Divine. Know this.
It is easier to start with the feeling that the Divine is your very own and in time you will know that you are part of the Divine.
How can people from different communities come together?
Sri Sri: Satsang increases awareness and a sense of belongingness. So many of us are here together but we are not asking each other about our caste or religion, are we? We are sitting here together as one family!
How can we resolve the problem of increasing rates of crime and poverty?
Sri Sri: A shift from secularism to spiritualism is the solution to crime. This spiritual education must be given to children. Removing greed from the heart is the solution to poverty. Everyone must take responsibility and think ‘What can I do?’