Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji, tell us about pradosha.
Sri Sri: ‘Pradosha’ is the time when divine energy dawns on the planet and redeems all the spirits. There are so many spirits. For people who die and exist as spirits, the day of pradosha redeems them, frees them. Freedom not just for the spirits but also for human beings. Desires are fulfilled and mind gets cleared. Shivaratri that comes once a year, known as ‘Maha Shivaratri’, is very special, the great night of Lord Shiva.
Every month, there is a special day of Shivratri. When you find there is festival every month, you become busy with the festivity, then you have no time to worry or do anything else.
Q: Dear Guruji, what can I do if I see that someone’s working too much and her body and emotions become sick of that. She is much older than me, and I love and respect her too much. I become very sad if I see that I can’t do anything.
Sri Sri: You know, whether people work or not work, they can get sick. There are lazy people on this planet who get sick. In fact, they fall ill more often. Because their minds are idle. So you don’t have to connect these two things. Some people are so health conscious yet they get sick.
So, sickness is not due to one thing. There could be many factors. One of the factors is karma, some impressions of the past.
Second is violation of the laws of nature, and then third is that you catch from the environment. So, there are many factors.
Catch the rest in the coming post…
Q: I want to understand about desires and how we are meant to deal with them. I feel that I shouldn’t be in desires, yet, I want to achieve things or find myself attracted to another person. If we don’t have desires, where do motivations in life come from? Thank you.
Sri Sri: Fine, have desires. Who said no? Have desires. But the desires should not have you, you should have desires. It is like the horse is in control of you, and you are not in control of the horse. If you are not, then it’s a difficulty.
There is a story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was on the horse. And the horse was going round in circles, on the same streets! So people asked him, “Mulla, where are you going?” He said, “I don’t know, ask the horse!”
Most of the time in our life, we are in similar situation. Our desires have us and they ruin us. Instead, you should have desires. You should be able to drop them any time you want to, and have them any time you want to! You should be able to get on to the horse when you want to, and get out of the horse when you don’t want! Rather than getting stuck in the horse, or allowing the horse to throw you down. That is more misery.
Q: Can you bring more sun here?
Sri Sri: Today there is enough sun. We will take it one day at a time.
Q: How does one balance work and life?
Sri Sri: How do you balance on a bicycle? There is no “how.” You just do it.
Q: What can we say to people in our satsangs who keep bringing in knowledge from different gurus?
Sri Sri: Listen and let go. Don’t engage in too much discussion with them. Let everyone air their own opinions. The main thing is being with your own contemplation.
Q: Dear Guruji, It’s very hard to see my father in negativity. The more we, my brother, sister and I go into spirituality, the harder and worse it becomes for him. He thinks we have not achieved much in life. None of us have married. He craves for grand children, which we understand. He suffers a lot and that makes it hard for me to see. God has given me all that I need and want. How can I help my parents?
Sri Sri: We can do whatever we can do in our capacity. Spend quality time with them, don’t teach them. When you are with them, don’t give them lessons, or tell them what they should be, what they should not do. Don't tell them, "You should be spiritual like me." Don’t give them such sermons. You know, elderly people just need your company. When you are with them, just sing, just play with them, crack jokes and bring them food or have food with them. Talk something which is of interest to them. They are not interested in listening to wisdom from you, or learning any new techniques from you. Don’t behave like a teacher with your elderly parents. Casually, you may give a few words of wisdom. Observe if they are absorbing it. Otherwise, just being with them is good enough.
Q: Is genetically modified seed OK, or should we oppose it?
Sri Sri: I don’t think genetically modified food is good. But genetically, we can help people get rid of diseases and problems. I am very worried about modifying food grains.
Q: After some ‘Art of Living’ Courses, I have felt so happy. I thought I would explode. After a while, I realized that it was not only happiness, but also feverishness. Then I got depressed. It was like an emotional roller-coaster. How can I handle feverishness?
Sri Sri: You have already become a witness to it. You have observed that you are on a roller-coaster. You observe these emotions are coming and going. Notice, earlier too the emotions were there. But now it is reducing. Before you were not aware, at least now you are aware of it. Just persistence on this path, in this knowledge makes you stronger, hmm!
Q: Guruji, I want to be free. How can I be?
Sri Sri: (laughs), Freedom? How will I become free? You have to assume that you are free. Bondage is assumed, so freedom should also be assumed. Bondage is in the mind.
Today is a very special day. Every day is a special day, but today is ‘Shani pradosha’ i.e. Shivaratri on Saturday. Every month has one Shivaratri. On the 13th day after the full moon or two days before the new moon is Shivaratri. It is either on Monday or Saturday. If it falls on a Saturday, it is considered very auspicious. People chant and sing a lot of Shiva bhajans in the evening and meditate.