Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Your naughtiness makes everyone dance. The whole world is going crazy. Tell us something about this naughtiness of yours?
Sri Sri: Naughtiness is not to be talked about, it is to be done! Everyone has child-like qualities in them. Not childish but Child-like. When one is a yogi, this happens automatically. There is naturalness in life. Everyone seems to be one’s own. This happens naturally. Ego, any kind of self identity that one has, gets dissolved.
Q: Where do you get courage from?
Sri Sri: From Advaita - Knowing that there is something in you that is not changing. A little experience of silence, calmness and meditation will give you enormous courage from within.
Q: What is the link between ego and self confidence?
Sri Sri: Ego is feeling uncomfortable in the presence of someone else. Self confidence is, feeling at home. Ya? Being natural is antidote to ego, and being natural is so complementary to confidence. It goes with confidence and is inseparable from confidence. When you are confident, you are natural. If you are natural, you are confident.
Q: Does Bhakti (devotion) make an impression on the Chitta (subconscious mind)?
Sri Sri: Yes, of course. The impression of Bhakti wipes away all other impressions, all negativity of mind. Also the impression of Bhakti gets dissolved on its own. Like when you put a piece of alum to purify water, the water gets purified as the alum dissolves and disappears. The impression of Bhakti is just like this.
Q: Is money a prior requirement in order to feel happy?
Sri Sri: There is no doubt that you need some money for your day to day survival. But, money cannot buy you happiness. It’s knowledge or wisdom that brings you happiness.
Q: You said that violence ceases to exist around ones who are fully established in non – violence. Does that mean Lord Krishna was not fully established in violence for a huge war took place in his presence?
Sri Sri: The secret behind this is existence of different circumstances. One is individual karma and one is collective karma. One is karma done for the sake of whole world. When sin and injustice reached its peak, He had to take a step. It is like different dosage of medicine is given under different circumstances. For a minor headache, the dose is different. And it is different for a severe headache.
Gahana karmo gati – The movement of karma is very deep and not easily comprehensible.
Q: Effect of one life’s karma is carried on to another lifetimes. How do we understand this?
Sri Sri: You sow a coconut tree two years back and it has grown today. Same way, until the impression of your previous done karma is there on your mind, that karma manages to exist. That impression can only be erased through meditation, pranayama and service. You are freed from that karma when the impression is erased. All this is there on the mind only. Karma is nothing but an impression on the mind. When you wake up and see that mind is a part of you and it is your mind, but you are not your mind, and you have an untouched existence which is much greater than your mind, then all karma automatically dissolves.
Q: What is role of service in order to have inner contentment?
Sri Sri: You know, we should have a goal in life. My goal is to bring happiness to more and more people. If we sit and keep thinking of ourselves all the time, we’ll be depressed. We should see, ‘How can I be of service? How can I be of use to others?’ This thought is very useful. Very, very, very useful. Ya?
So, ‘Art of Living’ provides a platform for everyone to come together and do some service. You know, when United Nations announced, ‘Stand up and take action’ - they wanted tree planting; ‘Art of Living’ volunteers have planted 55 million trees around the globe.
We all can jointly do some service activity. Reduce violence, reduce stress, create a sense of belongingness, and spread the positive vibration of love and peace. Shall we all do this together? Is everyone committed to do this? (A resonating yes from the audience.)
Q: How do we know that our past karmas have been burnt?
Sri Sri: Just assume it. Just like assuming, 'I am free' makes one free. Believing that past karma has been burnt makes it so.
Q: I had so many questions in mind before meeting you. But now, all the questions have vanished. I know that you are incarnation of Lord Shiva. Am I right?
Sri Sri: Let us leave at least one question in your mind.
When happiness dawns, all questions automatically dissolve.