22 August 2013 - QA 8

Gurudev, on the spiritual path I hear this term ‘presence’ very often. What is presence? Is it just a state of mind?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

See, presence is presence. If you ask me, what is the ear and how does it compare with the eyes, what can I say? Suppose someone is talking and your mind is elsewhere then you are not present. I can explain your absence. When you are present that means you listen and hear every word - that is presence. When you are afraid, you are fully present (referring to being fully aware and in the present moment). When you are deeply in love with someone or something, then your focus is there so totally. Similarly this is the nearest you can go to. So ‘presence’ is the feel that there is something around you. Suppose you close your eyes and you know someone has come close to you. You have not seen them but you still feel they are there. So ‘presence’ means that feeling which is beyond sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste