QA with Sri Sri
Q: Why do you have so much compassion? Why do you not get angry at me knowing that I have repeatedly committed the same mistake and let you down. I feel disgusted with myself.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Don't worry. Don't sit and brood over the past.
You know when a child starts walking it falls many times. But it doesn't stop standing up just because it fell ten times. It keeps making the effort till it can stand up.
So I want to tell you that you are doing very well, just keep walking. At least you have the pain of the mistake; this will prevent you from doing it frequently.
Do you know why you do a mistake? Because you think that you are getting some joy out of it. Taking drugs, or alcohol or smoking is bad and injurious but still you do it, why? Because you feel that it is giving you some joy. In fact, it does not give you joy, it just promises you joy.
There is another story. A gentleman went to a market and got a conch blessed by a saint. It was a special conch, a mystic conch. You could ask it for anything and it would give that to you.
A friend of this gentleman saw the conch and got very enthused, and he also wanted such a conch.
Many times you want to get something, not because you need it, but just because someone else has got it. Your friend got it and so you also want to get it. Your friend got an Audi or Benz car and now you also want to get an Audi or Benz. What difference does it make? You just need a car to go? But since your friend got a bigger car you also want to get a better car.
So he went to the market to get a conch. The shopkeeper showed him a conch and said that the specialty of this conch is that, you can ask it anything and it will offer you double of it.
Suppose you want one car, the conch will say, 'Why only one, you can take two.'
Has anyone heard the story? No? You are not reading my books or listening to my tapes?!
So he got the conch and took it home. He asked the conch for one kilo of gold. The conch said, ‘Why one kilo, take two kilos.’
So he said, ‘Okay, give me two kilos.’
The conch said, ‘Why two kilos, take four kilos.’
So he said, ‘Okay give me four.’
The conch said, ‘Why four kilos, take eight.’
Then he said, ‘Okay, just give me eight, I don’t want anymore.’
The conch said, ‘Why eight, take sixteen.’
It just kept multiplying, but it didn't give anything.
‘Give me something’, he said, and it said, ‘Why just something, take many things.’
So that man pulled his ears and said, ‘Wow!’
This is exactly what habits do to you. Habits only promise you joy but never deliver the joy to you.
To get rid of bad habits you need one of these three things, i.e., love, fear or greed.
Deep love for something, or a promise to a loved one that you will not look that way, can pull you out of bad habits.
When the doctor tells you that if you take alcohol your liver will get damaged and you will die, you will not touch alcohol.
And if someone promises you that if you don't drink for 40 days, they will give you a million dollars, you will say, ’Why 40 days, I will do it for 45 days, just to be on the safe side.’
So greed, fear or love can pull you out of your bad habits.
My nature is to be compassionate. All these years, i.e., for about 56 years, I have not said one bad word to anybody. It is not an achievement. This body is made like that. I am made like that. I can never say bad words, even when I am upset. I can only say, ‘You stupid’, and nothing beyond that.
Even that I must have said only about seven to eight times; I can count them on my fingers.
It is not possible for me to swear, curse or blame somebody. I've never ever done that. Never hurt anybody from my side by any bad words, ever. But still if people have felt hurt then it is their problem, what can I do?