Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: I heard you say this and I also strongly believe God is everywhere. How important is it to do Puja, or go to a pilgrimage place like Rishikesh, or take a bath in sacred places?
Sri Sri: It's like you have food at home and sometimes you go to a restaurant also. You don’t go to a restaurant because you don’t have food at home. Everything is everywhere and you enjoy the flavors equally.
Q: As a young person I look forward to growing old. Yet one of my greatest fears is some of the mental illnesses which afflict the elderly. Is it possible for the human condition to transcend such illnesses? If so, what are the steps one should take to master them?
Sri Sri: You are doing the right thing already - This knowledge, this path, yoga. As you keep growing older, keep practicing yoga, take proper food, proper rest, proper attitude in life and yoga.
Q: Guruji, please promise to come to Vancouver every year now.
Sri Sri: You know, my year has 700 days. (laughter)
Q: Can you please say something about Sri Aurobindo and what his message and life were about?
Sri Sri: You know, when you are asking about Sri Aurobindo, you already know. He wished more and more people would meditate. So the seed he had sown meant greater access to the collective consciousness. It's happening now. Those days it was very dull, although a few French people really caught on to it.
Q: How do you know if an answer is coming from within or from the rational mind?
Sri Sri: There is no criteria. The calmer and serene the mind is, the right answer will come to you.
Q: When we meditate you say don’t put any effort, but a part of you wants to put effort because there is a feeling that there is nothing to do. What to do with that?
Sri Sri: Do bhastrika, asanas. Put effort in that. When you sit for meditation you don’t need to put any effort. See for catching a train you need to make an effort, but once you are inside the train with your baggage you needn’t keep running inside. That would not get you to your destination any faster. Once you have boarded you can simply relax. Just as on a flight, all seats will reach at the same time to the same place.
Q: Is there life on any other planet in the universe?
Q: I have a strong tendency to be future-oriented. Always planning, imagining and having expectations from the future, clearly this doesn’t serve me. Despite my best efforts, I have not been able to free myself of this tendency. Please advice.
Q: How to get rid of fatigue and headache?
Sri Sri: Yoga and pranayama.
Q: Does your mission of lifting up the world get heavy at times? If so, what helps?
Sri Sri: All your work helps. When you write and talk about it. Prejudice in the world needs to be overcome. It’s much less but that hurdle needs to be overcome. And all of you can help. Everyone can help in reducing the prejudice.