Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How does the Art of meditation help the mind, the body, spiritual aspirations and relationships and society as a whole?
Sri Sri: Meditation helps to change your perspective. It improves the way you perceive things. It brings clarity in the mind. It improves your interaction with people around –what you say, how you react and act in different situations, you become more aware. In general, from a stress-free society to peace and health in individuals and from a violence-free society to a sorrow-free soul – all are side effects of meditation.
Q: What makes this form of meditation (Sahaj Samadhi) so unique?
Sri Sri: It is very simple and profound. Usually the common notion is that what is profound must be complicated and what is simple is not effective. But Sahaj Samadhi Meditation is a very rare combination of simplicity, profoundness and depth.
Q: Is it possible to be both ethical and practical?
Sri Sri: Yes. Your yukti should be like the salt in the food - just a little bit salt in your business. If there is too much salt, it becomes like food in the salt.
Q: What about people who haven’t come to you yet?
Sri Sri: They will come in sometime.
Q: Isn’t insincere praise same as pleasant lies?
Sri Sri: Why should your praise be insincere?
Your praise cud be a blessing. Blessings are for the future only. So u can praise someone as a blessing. If someone is stingy, you say….. That praise can become a future blessing.
Q: I am a professor at IIT. Other professors are averse to ..., how should I ..?
Sri Sri: Don't recognize their aversion, you keep doing what you should do. Don’t try to convince someone out of the way. Keep your conviction. Every soul needs spirituality. If they are refusing ,then it is only at the surface.
Q: Why should people meditate in our modern society?
Sri Sri: If you look at the benefits that meditation brings in our life, you will find that it is all the more relevant. In ancient times, meditation was used as a way for finding the Self, for enlightenment. Meditation was a way to overcome misery and problems. It's the way to develop one’s abilities.
If you want, keep aside enlightenment. Today’sstress and tension in society calls for meditation
. If you take more responsibility, more meditation is required. Greater responsibilities and ambitions you have, greater is the need for you to meditate. If you have nothing to do, you may not need meditation as much.
The busier you are, the lesser time you have, the more desires and ambitions you have - all the more is the need to meditate. Because meditation
not only relieves you of stress and strain, it also enhances your abilities,strengthens your nervous system and mind. Not only does it help eliminate stress and tensions, releasing toxins from the body and soothing the mind, it also makes you more capable, enhances you in every way. What else do you want?
I would say if you want to be happy and healthy, you’ve got to meditate.
Q: Can you speak on the value of the Vedic tradition of Masters who have kept this knowledge alive for thousands of years?
Sri Sri: From thousands of years people have passed this technical knowledge. Usually, most Masters will test a student before even teaching meditation. They would give this knowledge only to someone who qualifies. They would wait for the right student to come to impart this knowledge. In the past, it used to be very tough, you had to please the Master before you could get anything from Him.
I took a very different stance, I opened the flood gates, gave it to everyone, let everybody progress as per one’s sincerity and capability.
Q: When we do seva (service), especially us youth, how do we balance seva, studies and family?
Sri Sri: How do you ride a bicycle? Do you allow yourself to fall on one side? When you are more towards one side, you just balance. But one strong conviction should be there – I will do seva, I will do studies, I will take care of my family and respect the elders as well. These are not opposites but complementary. When you do seva, you get power and achieve merit, and that gives you good fortune. So,spirituality brings strength. Through meditation, you will progress in the world.
This conviction, ‘I will be able to do all’, works miracles.
If you find any doubt, just know that it is temporary. The most important thing is to develop a strong personality. Going to college, stuffing your head with information and just passing the exam, no! How much strength and humility have you gained? Are you blossoming into a complete person? It is important to check this. Enthusiasm with awareness!Seva brings out the skill in you that will again make a difference in how you relate to all types of people.Softness and depth will come to you.With enthusiasm, there will be awareness. All can be threaded on a string.
Q: It is said that God likes innocent people and luck supports the innocent. What should I to do to be innocent?
Sri Sri: To be innocent, drop cunningness. Innocence is naturally present in everyone. You just need to blossom it. And how do you do that? Just be in meditation. ‘I am nothing –Akinchan, I don’t want anything, and all are my very own; I accept all and all accept me.’ When you know that everybody is accepting you, you move ahead with naturalness. When you think people are not accepting you the way you are, then you think of doing something to gain acceptance and you start becoming unnatural.