Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: We came to know that you are coming to Malaysia after 11 years? What made you come now to Malaysia?
Sri Sri: The love and affection of the people from Malaysia who have been coming to India all these years…and I had promised them that I will come this year and I had to keep my Promise.
Q: The global warming issue is so serious now days, disasters happen everywhere. As a resident in this planet what should we do? I feel sad when I see people suffer, what can I do more?
Sri Sri: We have to create awareness. Join the ‘Art of Living’ band wagon, we are everyday going and planting more trees, creating awareness about plastics, creating awareness in people. To check global warming, more and more people need to turn vegetarian. You know, what they say is even if 10 percent of the population turns vegetarian, 10 percent more; the issue of global warming will be completely gone.
The methane that is produced in the slaughter houses is so much responsible for global warming. With the price and the energy spend to produce one pound of meat, you can feed four hundred people. So more and more people should turn vegetarians, and that will bring change in the environment.
Q: Do you find any changes here in Malaysia now since you are coming after 11 years?
Sri Sri: Lots of changes…infrastructural development…rest I have to find out, I have just arrived last night. I can’t form an opinion overnight, I have just arrived. Today I will be meeting people and we are having a meeting of all the teachers from all over south east Asia in Penang tomorrow, we have a workshop with all the teachers for four days and also a Silence Retreat meditation programmer.
Of course, lots of people from Malaysia have been regular visitors to our headquarters in Bangalore, India. I keep seeing them everywhere else in Europe, in America etc and they will always ask me “when are you coming to KL, when are you coming to Malaysia?’’, so this time I could squeeze in!
Q: You are so busy traveling all over the world. How do you stay healthy?
Sri Sri: I just don’t worry! I don’t worry at all. And when you are in a field of high energy, everybody is happy and, when you are connected to the source of energy within, then you can manage a tough routine.
Sri Sri: It comes by practice and by having a broader vision that things are going to be resolved in a very positive manner. See, we have very little time and we have lots of things to do. How can we do all this with low energy? So, we have to increase our energy, be efficient in our work and good time management. For all this, we teach this course called the ‘Art of Living’. It helps in all these three dimensions. It adds more time to your life-Quality time- and increases your energy level and improves intuition.
Q: Guruji, as reporters we are going through lot of stress. We have to collect news and report and write articles. Other than doing meditation, which consumes time, what else can we do to relieve the stress that we get in front of computers and in front of our boss?
Sri Sri: Few deep breaths! You can’t say that you don’t have time to take breaths! Take deep breaths and know that you have the capacity to handle the crisis or situation that you are in now, have confidence that ‘’I can handle any tough situation, I can handle any stress, I have the capacity’’, then faith in yourself comes up.
Q: How do you relieve yourself? Because you are very busy all the time….
Sri Sri: I don’t allow the stress to come in at all!! To relieve the stress, first you have to take the stress in, right? I filter it out right there.
Q: Do you have some special diet and do you exercise?
Sri Sri: I do exercise for 20 minutes and follow a vegetarian diet.
Q: Human beings live in a state where everything is not under our control. It is not possible to relax or meditate or even take deep breaths. Is there any other way to handle things smoothly?
Sri Sri: There is a saying “You can’t learn archery in the war field”. You have to learn archery before you get into that position. So, at that moment when you are stressed, you can’t do, but you have to do something before so that you don’t go to that level at all, you don’t get stressed. You can’t learn a new tune on the stage, though I don’t believe in this, this is a saying, actually nothing is impossible. I would say change in the way you behave, change in the food habits, and change in the way you perceive things in life, your communication ability, your ability to withstand criticism and take criticism… Generally, the outlook towards life itself makes a difference.
Your getting connected to the universal spirit, how much you are connected to the universal spirit, that much more is your ability to function.
So, I would give you number of things that you can do. Small techniques like head massage, eye exercise, taking proper food, taking a walk, sitting and observing sunset…maybe in KL, you don’t get to see the sunset because of tall buildings all around! Being with nature, playing with kids etc will also help. Unfortunately, we simply sit on the couch, watch television and keep popping all the junk food. This has taken a toll on the health of the society.
We need to change our ways for a healthy society.
Q: What is the secret to keep a healthy relationship?
Sri Sri: I have no experience in this field! (Laughter). But I can give some advice.
First for women: Never step on your man's ego. You should always pump and encourage his ego. You know, the whole world may say that your husband has no brains, but you should not say that! You should tell your husband that he has the best brains in the world and just because of the fact that he doesn't use it, doesn't mean that he doesn't have it! You should always tell him that he is the best man. Always pump the ego of a man .If you call him a vegetable, I tell you he will become one.
Now one advice for men: Never step on the emotions of a woman. You know, she may sometimes complaint about her family, about her brother or her father or her mother. You should not agree with that. If you do, then she will take a U turn. Never insult her family. Don’t stop her to go for shopping, or going to a spiritual or religious program. If she wants to go for shopping, give her your credit card.
Now for both: Never ask for proof of someone's love for you. Don't ask each other, “Do you really love me? You don't love me these days just like old days”. You know, it is such a big load for someone to prove their love for others. If someone asks you to prove your love, you would say "Oh my God! How do I prove that to this person?” Do everything with some style and some smile.