Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: youth is so aggressive. We give them everything they ask for, yet there is no satisfaction. They are so hyperactive. How to mellow down such hyperactive kids especially when they are hurting others?
Sri Sri: Just bring them to yes and yes+ course. When these kids in Delhi do the course, their parents were wondering what we had done to their kids. They have become so nice. They never thought about the kind of transformation that they saw in their kids after the curse. The same kids who earlier said they hated their parents started caring about their parents, sending them notes expressing their love for them, and asking them what can they do for them. There was total transformation in these kids. In 43 universities of America, yes+ clubs are there. In Cornell University and several other, it is credit now. So if you do yes+ course, do meditation, practices, you get credit. World is recognizing this now and better India start doing it. We will have to teach them meditation and ways to manage their own negative emotions.
Q: Please give guidance on parenting special children. What can be done for them through the ‘Art of living’?
Sri Sri: You simply serve them. Don’t pity them. You know, people with special needs, their soul is in a different state. They are not in a sorry state. They have come to this planet just to take service. With this attitude, you do service. Never have sympathy – ‘oh poor child’. Children with special needs have come just to take service from you.
Q: You say that we are all connected. But I feel more strongly connected to you than others. I am sure this is the experience of many of us present here. Can you please explain about that?
Sri Sri: What is it that you want me to explain? Connection is a matter of heart. Explanation and understanding is a matter of mind.
Q: Is world peace possible?
Sri Sri: World peace comes with individual peace. If individuals become peaceful, communities become peaceful. Then the leaders of the world will also become peaceful, and we can have world peace. When people have broad vision for the whole world, world peace is a possibility. We need to spiritualize the politics, socialize the business and secularize the religion.
Q: How do I know whether I will get enlightened or not?
Sri Sri: Your doubt is always something about which is positive. We doubt in the honesty of a person. We doubt in the truth of a statement in which someone expresses love for us. We immediately believe if someone says, “I hate you”. How does one know if he/she has achieved knowledge or not? First, such a doubt arises. And its solution follows it. When your mind gets calm, you feel happy, such a fragrance comes from you, and love flows from you. Sometimes it happens gradually, and you don’t realize it. Then all of a sudden you find out that nothing can disturb you, you are happy and peaceful, and you are untouched by any events happening around you. This understanding gradually dawns in you. It can also happen suddenly. But it is good if it happens gradually.
Q: Some of my colleagues talk ill of the ‘Art of Living’. I don’t like this but I ignore them. Can you please guide what should I do?
Sri Sri: What is it that they can talk bad of us? There is nothing. That is all their imagination. You keep on doing what you can. They will also realize. This had also happened with so many saints in the past. Some people liked them and got benefited after getting the knowledge, and some others didn’t like them. How does it matter?
We are teaching. One thing that some people say is why the ‘Art of Living’ courses are paid. ‘Art of living’ is an education. Do you think education should be free? Will people value free education the same way? If education should be free, then all education like medical, engineering, journalism should also be free. If all others are not, why should spiritual education be free? There was concept of Dakshina in the past also. Unless you give dakshina, your education is never complete. And we do so much work in society with the money left after course expenses.
Also this shows how much more work we need to do to improve the society.
Q: What are effects of Past life karma on the present life? I feel I have done sins in past.
Sri Sri: Don’t waste your energy thinking too much on past life karmas. Use your energy to come out of the present problems.
‘Om Namah Shivaye’ mantra, pranayama, Satsang..– All these take care of your previous karmas. Surrender all your sins and move further in life.
Q: Guruji, I am not able to concentrate for my mind is very flickering and playful. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Let the mind go wherever it wants to go.
Q: I lose my temper easily while doing day to day activities, especially if somebody talks bad. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Keep your mind calm. But if somebody talks bad, be alert. Reply if needed, but without disturbing your mind. Service, Satsang and sadhana help you keep your mind cool and calm. And know that – Satyamev jayate (Truth always wins). You should not be bothered about events. Keep your mind cool, and continue with this policy.
Sri Sri: Why not God? Why would you ask this question if there was no God. What will you say if a wave questions the existence of God? A wave exists because of the presence of ocean. Because of whose presence you are standing, you think, you listen, you understand, you breathe – that only is God. Who is God? God is not sitting somewhere up in the sky. God is the power due of which everything happens.
(The person still holds on to his question)
Ok! Do one thing. Drop all your concepts of God. First, find out who you are? Who is asking this question? If you find out that, the purpose is solved.
I will tell you a story. Once a man went to Lord Buddha and asked, “I don’t believe in God, Why God?
Lord Buddha said, “Ok! You are right”. The man went back happily. A second man came and said, “I believe in God”, to which Lord Buddha again said, “Ok, You are right”. That man also went back happily. Then, a third man came who very humbly requested, “Please answer this question. Some people say that there is no God. When I listen to their logic, I get convinced. But when I listen to saints, I feel that God exists. Now, I am in confusion. I am not able to understand whether God exists or not. I have not experienced God. Please, you tell me.” Then Lord Buddha said to that person that he was at the right place and he should stay there. He continued to say that he didn’t have any preconceived notions of God in his mind, and they would together find out if God is there or not. Perturbed mind can never go close to God. Also no knowledge sprouts up in a perturbed mind, and whatever knowledge sprouts up in such a state of mind is also wrong. So, I say let’s be calm. You have come to the right place. Drop your concepts of God. Sit with your eyes closed and find out who you are. Are you this body? Are you this mind? Are you your thoughts? ‘I am something beyond my thoughts also’ – When you experience this, the truth will automatically dawn.