Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain on his little finger, is it true?
Sri Sri: Well, there are big weight lifters today. Everything is possible. There is no reason not to believe that Krishna lifted the Govardhan. (What they call Govardhan is a small hillock. You can go and see it.)
‘Go’ means knowledge.
‘Vardhan’ means enhancing the knowledge.
For Krishna it was so easy to lift the consciousness of 1000s of people by playing the flute. Indra stands for mob psychology or collective consciousness. So, Krishna with his group uplifted the entire society. This is what it means.
Q: Even Siddhas have to take a few births to get enlightened. Why is it so difficult to get enlightened?
Sri Sri: It is not difficult. It is challenging!
Q: What is the importance of celibacy?
Sri Sri: Celibacy is something that happens spontaneously. When every cell of your body is happy, you don't need an act to be happy.
It is a phenomenon not an act. And abstinence, to some extent, is good as it saves energy.
Q: Dearest Guruji, in the Part 1 course one of the knowledge points is living in the present moment but my present is so painful that I rather live in the past that was beautiful. Now how do I apply this sutra?
Sri Sri: See even if the present is painful it is better to just be with it and finish it otherwise you are just sweeping it under the carpet. Living in an imaginary world and not realizing the current reality, yeah. So it is better to live it and go through it.
Q: Guruji, I am an Art of Living volunteer. What makes me worthy of being an Art of Living ambassador?
Sri Sri: Just this fact, that you are grateful of being an ambassador, makes you worthy. The most important quality on this planet is humility.
Q: Jai Gurudev means victory to the big mind. But doesn't the small mind play a role in this?
Sri Sri: Small mind has its role. It is only because of the small mind that the big mind wins. It is Obvious. There are only two kinds of people: those who are victorious, and those who make others victorious.
Q: Can you speak something about seen and the unseen? Like you said collective consciousness, the mind.
Sri Sri: You can’t see the mind, you can only feel it. The Self (atma) is energy. There is electricity everywhere. This body is like a wire, and the electricity in this body – that is the atma.
The form and the formless are both essential. The world is the form of the Divine but the Divine is formless. The world is made up of both; the seen universe and the unseen consciousness. Here in India both are acknowledged effortlessly!
*Karma simply means action.
Action has got 3 forms: one is latent, that which is going to become an action, the action itself and the consequence of the action.
The first is like the seed of a tree, the second a full grown tree and the third when the tree becomes a seed again.
Q: What should I do with this over active mind? Thoughts are painful, please guide!
Sri Sri: Too many thoughts come because you have so much free time. Too many thoughts is a sign of imbalance between the mind and the heart. When feeling is kindled thoughts will subside. Also it could be a result of improper digestion; take care of your digestion.
Q: As per Hindu mythology, every God has a weapon. What is your shastra?
Sri Sri: I think that a smile by itself is enough. It works where all weapons fail! :)
Q: Are there different types of nirvana?
Sri Sri: Yes! Just as there are different flavors of ice-cream, there are various schools of thought. But the material is the same.