Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: My husband has yet not done the ‘Art of Living’ course. I want him to experience the same joy and knowledge. I have persuaded him by all means. Please guide me what to do now?
Sri Sri: You pray. It will happen.
Q: What is the difference between religion and spirituality?
Sri Sri: Spirituality joins everything. Different beliefs are there like somebody may be Vaishnav, somebody may be Hindu, somebody may be Christian, but spirituality is experience. I often say, religion is like a banana peel and spirituality is the fruit inside.
Q: You are not only a Guru, a Spiritual Master, but you are also so skilled in management. How come you manage everything?
Sri Sri: Guru is not a physical entity, but Guru is embodiment of knowledge and discretion. Guru is pure consciousness. There is no difference between universal consciousness, Guru and the Self. You should also be a Guru to someone. What does it mean to be a Guru? You don’t expect anything from them, and do whatever you can to uplift them with the feeling of love. Start with the one, then two, three…..10. ‘I am for you; you don’t need to worry’ - Then you would also be able to say this for everybody.
Q: Money cannot bring us happiness – this knowledge happens after accumulating money or before it?
Sri Sri: If you are intelligent, it happens before. And if you are little less intelligent, then it happens afterward. An intelligent person also learns from others’ experiences. But this realization is only authentic if you can experience someone’s experience as your own. It doesn’t carry any value if a beggar says that he has abandoned everything. How can a beggar abandon anything? He has not earned anything at the first place. Also there are some people who do not understand this even after accumulating a lot of money. But this doesn’t mean that you should not earn money. If you are too feverish for money thinking that only it can bring you happiness, then either earn money and see yourself, or learn from others’ experience.
Next part of the conversation with Sri Sri in the next post:
Q: These practices bring so much inner comfort. If I do a lot of practice, will it make me more happy?
Sri Sri: Don’t do too much of practice. Move ahead gradually. Do only as much as needed. Do that much to which your body gets accustomed to. You should not start doing 10 hours of practice all of a sudden.
Q: What is the difference between Ashtavakra Geeta and Bhagwad Geeta?
Sri Sri: One was sung in a royal palace and other in a battle field. You yourself see now what the difference is. It is like a song having different tunes. Both have their own value. When life seems to be a battle, Bhagwad Geeta will give you solace, and then Ashtavakra Geeta.
Q: There are so many definitions of Saints. In reality, whom do we call a saint or a Yogi?
Sri Sri: Saint is one whose consciousness is complete. Manifestation follows their words. When such a person speaks, it is not only on the level of mind. Those words have depth. It is more beneficial to directly listen to master’s words because He is speaking life’s experiences only. Experience kindles experience.
We communicate more through our presence. If our presence doesn’t have that love, then the words spoken carry no effect. And there is no need of words where presence carries love. Whatever we convey, it is through our whole existence. It is like when a child cries or laughs, it is coming from every cell of his/her body. This is indication of a yogi – He/She speaks through existence.
Truth can not be conveyed on the level of brain.
Q: How to keep the God and world together?
Sri Sri: How can you keep them together? They are already one. Where is the question of combining them? In the nature of form, it is world, and same is God in its formless nature. You don’t have to do anything to bring them together.
Q: How does one get rid of lust in the mind?
Sri Sri: If you suppress lust totally, you won’t be able to rise high. Also if you indulge too much in it, then also it is not going to work. Adopt the middle path. You can progress on the path being a family man. Neither you should force celibacy on you nor should you indulge too much in it. If you see the faces of people who visit these night clubs, you will not find even a glimpse of happiness on their faces. It is like sadness and heaviness are dropping out from their faces.
Q: Even after doing Advance course, I have negative emotions like anger, jealousy and greed. What should I do?
Sri Sri: You have already assumed that you have all this. Now imagine what the case would be if you had never done meditation. These emotions were happening in you earlier also, and these are happening now also. But now these lose their grip on you very quickly. May be, few more Advance courses and you find that you are out of the grip of these emotions.
Don’t assume that you have all these negative emotions in you. If you assume this, same will start manifesting. Where are these emotions right now? You are pure in the present moment. Have faith in your innocence in the present moment. Gradually, you will experience that all these are not present in you, and you would start feeling how beautiful you are from inside. You have heard this earlier, but now you would experience it.