Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: You say that choice is mine and blessing is yours. How do I know I have made the right choice?
Sri Sri: Time will tell. If it has come with a blessing, it will be good.
Q: Dear Guruji, recently scientists have said that they can create life in a laboratory by manipulating and intervening the genes. Isn’t this contradictory to spirituality and religion, with man creating life and giving consciousness to innate objects?
Sri Sri: : Not at all. You have heard this saying – ‘God made man in his own image’. Right? So, whatever God can do, man can do too. God made man, created him as his own image. It is written in the Bible. Right? There is a story about it in Mahabharata epic also, written some 5000 years ago.
So, test tube babies are not new phenomena. Queen Gandhari , from one embryo, had put pieces in hundred pots and created hundred types of kids. But what quality the kids came out with, that you all know! So, there is a big question about the risk, but this is a fact that Gandhari created 100 children in hundred pots. So, test tube babies or creating life in lab is not a new phenomenon. It was done some 5000 years ago also!
Q: What if we feel we have got more in life than we deserve and are afraid to lose it?
Sri Sri: Be grateful and prayerful. Know that whoever has given it to you cares for you and would not take it away. Do service. Put your attention on giving back to society. This is giving back to God. If negative thoughts, insecurities, doubts come into the mind, chant Om Namah Shivaya. This itself will put you on the right track. Take the past as destiny and the future as free will. What was meant to happen, happened. We tend to do the reverse. People who are foolish think the past is free will and the future is destiny. This only makes you miserable in the present.
‘Om Namah Shivaya’ has been there for thousands of years. The five elements are represented there and each sound in the mantra corresponds to one of them. For instance, Om is the life force or divinity. Chanting energizes our psyche, our inner self. It is very powerful and we should chant this everyday. It will keep away depression. Just try this. You will see that whenever you are low, saying Om Namah Shivaya removes the negativity.
Q: What do you say about doubts? Should we have no doubts?
Sri Sri: : No, I never said you shouldn’t have doubts, you should have doubts, have as many doubts as you can, for truth can never be concealed by doubts . Yes, doubt can’t defeat the truth, so you doubt as much as you want, but finish it quickly otherwise you will be wasting so much of time. Have as much of doubt as you want and then get over it.
I remember one incidence which happened in Sweden. There was a public meeting/ gathering and a journalist was sitting right behind. He came forward to me and said- “I want to ask you a question”.
I said- “yes, go ahead.”
He asked, “Are you enlightened?”
I said, “No”.
But he insisted, “No, please tell the truth. I know, you are always making fun, always kidding, please tell me the truth”.
I again said, “No”.
You see, my answer of NO should have finished the conversation there, but he won’t listen and kept insisting, “No, no, you are not telling the truth, tell me the truth, are you enlightened? I want to know the answer right away”.
See when you say , ‘no’ –it finishes , there is no need for further proof or explanation, chapter over, but this person won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I said, “So what takes you not to take a ‘no’ for answer? You should be happy with the answer now”.
But he said, “No, I don’t believe it!
I said, “You see, there is something inside you which is telling you something, some deeper inner feeling saying –this is not correct, right? So you have the answer then!”
So often, you listen to your own inner voice but doubt it from the surface mind but deep inside your heart and mind are saying something, you feel something different- a gut feeling and that is what you always rely on and not on what someone else says, isn’t it so? If someone says, “I love you”, do you take them on face value? No, you look at their face, you look at them and even without looking at them, you feel something deep inside. So, what I am telling you is generally true. And every one has this faculty of intuition and what can overshadow this faculty is your greed.
Greed can overshadow the faculty of your intuition, being over ambitious can overshadow your intuition. Do you understand what I am saying? Wisdom gets covered with greed, feverishness or with over ambition. So, doubt as much as you can!
Q: Dear Guruji, I have never been a spiritual or a true religious person. How can I learn to let go and believe?
Sri Sri: You don’t have to label yourself- I am spiritual, religious person etc. No need for it.
Just be natural, beautiful, good human being. That’s it!
If someone is not a beautiful human being and says, ‘I am a spiritual person or a religious person’, what is the use of that? What good he or she is for? Isn’t it? The purpose of spirituality is to make you a beautiful human being, the purpose of religion is to make you a righteous person, connected to the universe, to the universal spirit. And that’s what spirituality is and that’s what a simple, natural, normal human being is! Got it? Right, so it is better not to label yourself.
If you think you are a believer or a non believer, then even a non believer is a wrong label. Someone who says, ‘I am a non believer, I tell you, this is not true. You simply can’t honestly be a non believer; there is no honesty in it. Somewhere in some corner of your consciousness, you believe something; you know something, for your consciousness is very ancient. You don’t know your consciousness, it is so old, so ancient, there are so many layers, so many impressions on our mind, on our consciousness- it is such an amazing phenomenon!
Q: How to get rid of hurt and anger?
Sri Sri: Do Sudarshan Kriya, breathe, sing and meditate. There is no point in brooding. Move on in life. Don’t waste today for what happened yesterday. Wake up and say, “I have the valor and the courage to overcome this.” With someone else’s anger, you must play all your tricks to calm them. Then leave it to God. Educate and ignore. Give them some time. Ask for pardon and most people will not hold the grudge. If they do, it is only out of ignorance.
Q: How do I come out of negative patterns in my life?
Sri Sri: Once you see yourself acting in a pattern, you are already stepping out of it.
Q: Is there a higher purpose to art?
Sri Sri: There is no purpose to art. It is an expression of happiness. For the onlooker, art brings a sort of solace and comfort. For the creator, it is just an expression.
Q: How do I find strength in myself?
Sri Sri: Be well rested and have your heart in the right place. You need both mental and physical rest. Thinking “Oh I have done so much!” will only bore you down. Just know that you will have enough time and energy to do what you were born to do in this life.
Q: Can you tell me what is the right career for me?
Sri Sri: I leave the choice to you and give my blessings.