28 February 2014 - QA 14

Gurudev, in your occupation, is it a big occupational hazard that people get attached to you? How do you handle it?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Don’t even ask me that! (laughter) There are many occupational hazards. Many times I keep walking and someone holds my legs from behind. I have to balance myself to not trip and fall many times. People should listen. See now you are all sitting. When I exit also, you should remain seated. Nobody should get up and run.

I say it all the time and when you get up, that is when you give a chance to these thieves to steal. They come in groups. One will push the others, and pretend to show a lot of devotion and the other will pickpocket at that time.

Can you imagine that they have a gang? They have psychologically studied us very well. When Jai Jai Radha Raman (a concluding devotional song in Art of Living Satsangs) is being sung, everybody is totally immersed in the bliss of the Satsang, and that is the time when they will push someone and pick their pocket from behind.

You all should cooperate and stay seated to prevent such incidents. Anyway, I meet everyone.

I don’t feel comfortable when people fall over each other and elderly ladies and children are pushed down on the floor. Some people will run ahead and overtake the others and approach me before them, saying, 'Gurudev, please bless me'. Then I feel there is something wrong.

So one person will push and try to come forward, and his partner in crime will then pick your pocket from behind in the midst of this confusion.

Some of these old time devotees, though you can’t even call them devotees, they just won’t listen at all. They will jump over people to come to the front and sit and create chaos. I don’t know what to do.

(A member in the audience suggests that such people should be punished). Yes, I am thinking what punishment to give them. They spread indiscipline. It is not in my nature to say no to someone or to be harsh, but these people don’t let me be myself. I have never used any bad words other than calling someone ‘stupid’, or scolded anyone. I don’t know how to be stricter than this. But they are testing my patience.

It is okay. There are all kinds of people in this world and we need to accept everyone.