Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Can you talk about certain rituals performed while doing pooja?
Sri Sri: There are some rituals which you can fathom with your intellect, yet some others are so intuitively profound that you can only merge in them and enjoy.
On a very gross level, Pooja is imitation of what Divine or Nature is doing to us. Divine offers us all kinds of fruits and flowers, bestows rain, worship us taking millions of stars around us. An imitation of this divine phenomenon, expressing our gratitude, is pooja.
Yet, it is good not to get stuck in too much of rituals. Your feelings are good enough for a pooja to happen. However a little bit of rituals at home, like burning incense sticks, keep the spirit of the place high. – FROM YOUTH DESK
Q: How does one make a balance between the heart and mind?
Sri Sri: Yes. You do your business with your mind, and service with your heart. In both cases, there is a third component - intuition. Never be within the business with heart. With family, be with the heart, don't use your mind there. Do both with the gut feeling!
Q: What is the dharma of marriage?
Sri Sri: Ask your spouse! They will give you long lectures on what your dharma is and what you should be doing! (Audience laughs).Our ancient people spoke about saptapadi – the seven steps one takes in life. The knowledge was so scientific even 1,000s of years ago. A sense of commitment, co-operation, compassion, caring and less ego – these are the benefits that one finds.
Q: How can I maintain happiness?
Sri Sri: Do not make such an effort. In order to save your happiness, you have to spread it. Share your happiness with everyone. Why worry in this short span of life when there is such beautiful knowledge.
Q: Sometimes the best things happen when nature takes its course. At what point, when should people stop trying, giving, doing harder to achieve something and just let nature take its course?
Sri Sri: When you do your 100 percent, when you feel that you cannot do any more. That is exactly when you should meditate, instead of getting frustrated. You have put your 100 percent. When exactly do you know that you have had enough food? Do you know?
When exactly do you know you have had enough water? You burp! (laughter)
Usually you get frustrated when you feel: ‘I have done enough, I can’t do anymore. I just give up’. I tell you – you need not go to that extent of getting frustrated.
Q: Where does Obama get his inspiration from?
Sri Sri: Today, the global problem is terrorism through wrong ideology. I feel that we need to emphasize a broad spectrum of education for the future generation. If each child knows about other religions, it won’t think other religions will go to hell. Even in India, madrassas are getting CBSE status because of the vote bank. I’m not saying all madrassas are bad but there is an 80 percent chance of narrowing vision. We need to have a long term goal and long term vision in everything. An education which has science and spirituality - head and heart is the only solution.
Q: How important is knowledge on the spiritual path? One who does not know how to read/write, can they grow on the spiritual path?
Sri Sri: Yes, one can. There are many examples in this country. Kabirdas (a famous saint in India) never went to a university. Guru Nanakdevji (the Sikh prophet)…. there are lots of instances of famous people in this country.
Q: Which is the best and intelligent way to worship?
Sri Sri: When you do any action with a sense of sacredness, that becomes worship.