Welcome back home everybody! You all have come from long distances, so rest well.
After many years we are having Shivarathri in the ashram. Usually Shivarathri program needs a bigger venue, but we thought somehow we will fit in and we will accommodate. We keep needing bigger places all the time. If there is place in the heart, there is place everywhere. But this means that you all will have to take a little bit of responsibility as well.
Q: Guruji, here in Russia some people say that they have found the Vedas in Russia too. Can you please comment on this? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yeah, it is possible.
Once upon a time it was everywhere in the world, it was in South America, Mexico, in Peru. It was in all these places. The Mayan civilization in Peru went from Sri Lanka actually. So the whole world was connected at one point of time in history. That is why the Vedas are not to one particular country or language, it is universal.
If you listen to Russian language, the expert scholars say that the language has a lot of Sanskrit words. So does German.
Q: How to take a sankalpa and how to make one’s sankalpa strong and effective? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Being hollow and empty!
When sankalpa arises in your heart then take the sankalpa and expand your consciousness with the context of time and space in the vast universe. In this huge universe, in this huge time, I want this little sankalpa to happen and I am confident it will happen by God’s grace. This is what has to be done.
Take a desire and feel it will be heard.
Suppose you are asking a question to somebody and you have a doubt whether the question will be answered or not, you will not fully ask the question, right? You will hesitate to ask the question or somewhere you will make errors even in process of asking. So the right way of asking is first knowing that the person knows and is going to give the answer.
Suppose in a gas station you go and ask the person, how to go to this particular place. You do it with full confidence that the person knows it at the gas station. Otherwise you will not ask them, isn’t it?
That confidence you should have. I have this request and it will be granted to me.
Q: Guruji would you even consider writing your autobiography? Please share your stories which you have never shared with us. I am sure that you will answer this question. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Sometime, yes!
Q: I have read about Goliwale baba in ’Stumbling Into Infinity’ by Michael Fischman. As per Michael, Goliwale baba got enlightened in an accident. He did not have any guru. Is it possible to get enlightened without Guru’s grace? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, grace is needed. But life is so vast and so infinite. This is not just the only lifetime we have been here. It is not Goliwale, he is Gouwale Guruji.
There was a gentleman - Gauwale Guruji in Delhi, who used to sit in Kotla Mubarakpur. I was introduced to him. He used to stay in a small place. He also had a guru, not that he never had a guru.
In those days I was only seventeen, eighteen or nineteen or something like that.
He used to say, ‘Yogiraj, come!’ He used to give me a lot of respect. First I thought he was making fun of me. I was only a small kid; even now I am only a child!
Q: Guruji can I live with full freedom? Many times my freedom becomes a problem for another. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Yes, you should see that your freedom should not create trouble for someone else. You should take a middle path. If you always focus your attention on others, at some point you will feel frustrated, and if you think only of yourself, you will cause frustration to others. So somewhere along the line you need to take a middle path; take some and give some.
Suppose you feel like doing meditation and somebody else wants you do their work, it is okay to do their work if it is an emergency. But if it is not very important, it is just a daily routine thing, then do your meditation, take out time for yourself.
Q: Guruji, whenever we look at you, something happens. When you look at yourself in the mirror, does something happen to you as well? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: (Laughs) Oh really! Something happens?! I myself am a mirror. If you look at me, you see yourself. If you are loving, you will see love in me. A Guru is a mirror.
Q: Guruji, when we have accepted the Guru as everything then what is the purpose of worshiping all the other Gods? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No, there is no compulsion. It is only a tradition which has been continuing. There is only one Bramha, only one God; but sometimes we worship Him in the form of Ganesh, sometimes as Shiva, sometimes as Kartikeya and sometimes in the form of Divine Mother. So whenever you do pooja, see everything in that One.
That is why, any mantra or any pooja begins with Guru pooja first ‘Gurubhyo Namah Harihi Om’ – this is how it starts. Guru is honored first and then God is worshipped.
There should be a feeling of oneness - first oneness with the Guru and God, and then oneness between the Self, Guru and God. There is no difference between God and myself. I, Guru and God are One. This is called Advaita knowledge. Repeating ‘everything is one’, realizing this and reposing in it is samadhi; meditation.
Q: Guruji, in Shiva Purana, Shivaji has been considered supreme, and in Devi Bhagvat, Devi has been considered supreme. So which Purana is supreme? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Whichever you are reading, at that time that is supreme. When you are reading Bhagavad, then Krishna is everything. There is nothing else other than that. When reading Devi Bhagvata, that alone is everything, that is supreme. That is what it is. Whatever is on my plate today is the best food for today.
Q: Guruji, these days, Ayurveda has changed all the definitions. If someone is angry, they say, ‘Today his pitta is very high.’ If work gets messed up, it is a problem of vata, and if someone does something bad towards me, it is a matter of tamas. Ayurveda has created a big problem, Guruji. Now one cannot say anything to anyone! Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: No! Ayurveda has made it very easy for you. It has made it so easy, that it has prevented anger and hatred from entering into you! You can understand the people, who have got what problem, and it has made it much easier for you to understand the situation better. You should be grateful, you should give thanks. Ayurveda has revealed such a perspective to you that you will stop finding fault in people.
Someone has so much hatred and hostility - it is because of ignorance, on account of tamo-guna and rajo-guna. He is immature and that is why he feels hate.
See, whatever one has, only that he can give. One who has only garbage in his mind can give only garbage; one who has anger will give anger; one who has abuse will give abuses.
When you see it from this perspective, you will not have any hatred towards that person. At least your mind will be at peace.
Q: Guruji, many psychologists say that love is just our imagination. I have also read that true love is born out of truth alone. Is there a relationship between love and truth? Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Love is something which is present everywhere. Sometimes it can arise from imagination, sometimes it can arise spontaneously without any reason. Sometimes it can arise by just seeing someone or while resting it can arise. Sometimes, while taking a walk in the evening or while the sun is setting something might stir inside your mind, or it can also happen in meditation.
Love is your very nature; it is there within you, and around you, eternally. So when, what will become a reason for love to blossom, cannot be said.