Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: What do we mean by being a Yogi?
Sri Sri: Yogi means being like a child again. Same is what Ashtavakra is saying: No craving, no aversion, no attachment can cover self knowledge.
Q: What is the difference between desire and resolution?
Sri Sri: All the work in life happens through intention. You had this intention in mind to come here, and then only you could come here. If something keeps on bombarding your mind and doesn’t let you sleep, then that is desire. You should not think that one should have no desire in the mind. Resolve to accomplish bigger tasks. Take on greater jobs in your hands. But you should also keep those aside at times and relax for some time.
Q: What is the difference between religion and spirituality?
Sri Sri: Spirituality joins everything. Different beliefs are there like somebody may be Vaishnav, somebody may be Hindu, somebody may be Christian, but spirituality is experience. I often say, religion is like a banana peel and spirituality is the fruit inside.
Q: I wish to spend some time with you, sit with you and talk. I want to travel with you. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Fulfill those desires which you can fulfill, and surrender those which you can surrender. Fulfillment of any desire requires effort and time. When you surrender, your desires automatically get fulfilled. Some desires are fulfilled after desiring for long time. And some are not fulfilled even then. Sometimes you find it good later on that some of your desires were not fulfilled. Have this faith that Divine knows what is best for you. Neither criticize desires nor get swayed with the desires. Is it ok? This is the middle path. As you become more aware, everything else automatically starts becoming peaceful.
Q: Your presence gives so much peace and joy. I want to always have the same joy. What should I do?
Sri Sri: When you remember your experiences here, you relive that joy wherever you may be. All other experiences of the world get dissolved with the impression of devotion.
Q: What does – ‘Dhiyo Yona prachodyat’ mean in the Gayitri Mantra?
Sri Sri: Let Divinity flow through this intellect; let only good thoughts happen through the intellect.
Q: You are not only a Guru, a Spiritual Master, but you are also so skilled in management. How come you manage everything?
Sri Sri: Guru is not a physical entity, but Guru is embodiment of knowledge and discretion. Guru is pure consciousness. There is no difference between universal consciousness, Guru and the Self. You should also be a Guru to someone. What does it mean to be a Guru? You don’t expect anything from them, and do whatever you can to uplift them with the feeling of love. Start with the one, then two, three…..10. ‘I am for you; you don’t need to worry’ - Then you would also be able to say this for everybody.
Q: All people have so much faith in you. Suppose you say that you are not a Master, then what would happen to their faith? I am not saying this is the case but I am trying to frame a situation that took place in my life. How to react if somebody says that what you believe in is not right?
Sri Sri: You have imagined a situation in mind, Faith is that which is not shaken by doubts. Doubts are like clouds in the sky, they come and go. Even if you undergo 1000 such situations, somewhere your heart tells you what the truth is.
If anybody tells you anything, would you believe it? If you have ache in your foot, would you believe that your foot is not aching even if I say that? There are some experiences in life which your heart refuses to doubt even if the whole world tells you to doubt that.
In a way it is good if you have doubts. You get an opportunity to grow strong in the fire of doubts. Withstanding doubt makes you strong.
Q: Saints say that suicide is a crime. Then what is jeev Samadhi?
Sri Sri: Yes, suicide is wrong. Some saints take jeev Samadhi. They can effortlessly separate their mind and soul, and continue to live like that for 20 years or so. Saint Gyaneshwar and some other very great saints did that in the past. I am not in favor for it.
One commits suicide out of sorrow, and tries to destroy the body. One tries to commit such a thing burdened with the sorrow, and in search of happiness. But committing suicide is like you removing your coat when you are feeling cold. There is only repentance after suicide, and one keeps on struggling to get a new body. Don’t try to finish this body, and also don’t hold on to it very strongly.
Sri Sri: Your mind gets focused with love. Greed and fear also focus your mind. I prefer love over other two.