11 April 2013 - QA7

Dear Gurudev, if consciousness is one, then are we as we think we are. Can one experience anyone else’s body, or experience? Can one transfer their soul or dislodge and lodge at will?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Do you see how many bulbs are there in this room? Are these bulbs different? Yes, they are all different bulbs, but the electricity that runs through them, is it different? No.

So, on one level it is all different, and at another level, all are the same. Like that, there are many levels of understanding, and many levels of reality. There are as many levels of reality as there are levels of understanding. You should not mix them all up.

There is a story of Adi Shankara.

Once, Adi Shankara was sharing, ‘This whole world, that is everything, is nothing.’ So, he was saying, ‘This is all nothing.’ Like the modern day scientists say, ‘All this matter is nothing because it is all just waves.’

As he was saying, ‘Everything is nothing’, just then a mad elephant started running towards him. So Shankara ran to take cover.

Then someone said, ‘Oh, that elephant is nothing. Why are you running?’

Shankara then said, ‘The elephant is nothing and my running is also nothing.’

So don’t confuse the reality.

Someone dreamt of a tiger and in a half asleep state, he started looking for his gun to shoot the tiger. But next to him was his wife. She shook him and said, ‘I am your wife, not the tiger!’ He had to wake up and see.

To shoot a dream tiger, you need a dream gun. You can’t shoot the dream tiger with a real gun. Correct? So there are different levels of reality and we need to understand each of them, and that enriches life.