Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji, is it important to have a purpose in life, a destination or should we just go with the flow?
Sri Sri: There is no choice between these two, you have to have both. You should have a purpose. Move towards the goal, and take things as they come on the way.
Q: I know one cannot be happy and married. But can one be married and enlightened?
Sri Sri: Why do you think that one cannot be happy and married? Why cannot you be happy and married as well? There are many bachelors who are not happy, and also there many married people who are happy. Happiness is an attitude which you chose. It all depends just on you. There are people with no jobs but are happy. There are people with jobs and are unhappy. Be wise and be happy. Do whatever – married, unmarried, employed, unemployed…But independent of what you are doing, you need to be happy.
Q: Guruji, spiritually is religious conversion. Sometimes my mind says that religious conversion is because at least people are getting food, education, and healthcare. What do you say?
Sri Sri: No, you can have health-care, education, food everything without conversion too. Religion you are in is over you. You know, if someone likes a particular religion out of full interest, that is a different issue but alluring them with food, medical and all education should not be done.
Q: I am a student and I am so much impressed with the education system here. Could you please tell me some of the values that I can take back along with me?
Sri Sri: Respect the teachers. There is so much respect for the teachers in the Indian education system. That respect is missing in the western schools and colleges. Also respecting the elders is one of the beautiful cultural identities here.
So, we create a new wave where we take the best of the east and the west, and have a wonderful global family. Take best available in both the worlds, and create a beautiful society.
Q: I am new to the concept of joint families? I would love having a joint family. But I am little afraid if there is any disadvantage involved?
Sri Sri: There are some disadvantages of joint family also. But when a family is broken into nuclear families, husband, wife and kids, there is nobody else to fight with! So, they end up fighting with themselves, and then kids and parents also separate. So, this is the advantage of joint family, they live together even after fights. Western culture is adopting the system of joint families. People are going back to the family values, and joint family system. Also it is very important to keep this tradition of celebrating festivals with the whole family coming together
Q: How do we get rid of expectations or get free of worry? Also how not to get bothered by the expectation that passes again and again?
Sri Sri: Never mind, let it be there. Why do you want to get rid of all the expectations? When it is troubling you, then you want to get rid of it. Right? You know, when you have nothing much to do, then you worry, then you sit and expect, or day dream. When you are busy, it is a different story all together.
Q: I have left my habit of drinking and smoking after the course. But my parents are still stuck up in these. What can I do?
Sri Sri: If your mother or father had not done the course, and is drinking alcohol, then certainly you are not having a cordial relationship. Allure them by any means, and get them into the course, then see they will also leave any addictive habit. Today, the problem is that so many homes have become slave of alcohol. It is a matter of sadness.
There are so many children who ask how their parents can leave these bad habits. You have to do work for this. You have to apply some tactic. It is not only that only parents improve the children, sometimes children also improve their parents. How many of children are there whose parents have changed? Very good!
Q: I become so over possessive for something, or for some person. What should I do?
Sri Sri: Ooh! , Never mind, you understood that you are over possessive then it has already started loosening up.
Q: I get confused sometimes, and cannot make out what to do and what not to do. Like while studying, I get lost and don’t remember to study anything –what to do in such situations?
Sri Sri: Keeping yourself engaged in Sadhna (Practices), Satsang and Service gives you focus in life. Are you all getting that focus?
Next part of the conversation in the next post..
Q: Guruji, I am in a job where nothing gets done without bribing government officials. Give your guidance, now I am very much confused. How can I be a go-getter without giving bribe?
Sri Sri: You have to look into the eyes of those people who want bribe and tell them that, “look I am on the spiritual path, I am not going to bribe. If you want me to come fifty times, I will come, but I will not give any bribe.” Your voice style should be very firm and gentle, with much sweetness and firmness. Several times we speak the truth, but express with anger.
Speaking truth, but with anger in the background, or truth with hatred does not bring success. Speak firmly with sweetness. Just do it once or twice, and see what happens.