Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Guruji what is the difference between love and attraction?
Sri Sri: Attraction is short lived, but love lasts much longer. Love takes you in, the other is exterior!
Q: Is it very important for a woman to marry? Is it not ok to let God be her care taker? Can she still be complete even if she is not a mother?
Sri Sri: You can feel you are a mother to the whole world. Being a mother is in the very nature of a woman. That compassion, that love and caring will be there.
Whether she should marry or not, that is your decision. Most important is to be happy. That is my opinion. There are many who are single and happy, and there are many who are married and not happy, and vice versa! Choice is yours, blessings are mine.
Q: 2011 will be yugantam (end of the world) according to many beliefs. Please speak on that.
Sri Sri: Yugantam is another transition of time. Nothing is going to happen.
Q: How does one know when one has been transformed by meditating? Does a person become aware that he has transformed?
Sri Sri: Without doubt you will feel elevated. You don't need another proof. Do you ask someone whether you have pain or not. Similarly when you are happy, joyful you know that you are happy. In the same way it is very obvious when you are calm and serene, turn back and see what were you before and how the knowledge has transformed you now. That contrast, that difference will tell you.
Q: Will there ever be Men’s day?
Sri Sri: (Smilingly) For that too, you would have to pray to the Devi(mother Divine). Even demons ask for boons from Her, and angels as well. Once somebody was telling this joke: Once a man was asked who the owner of the house is, and the man replied saying he would ask his wife!
Q: Guruji, I have had a wonderful experience of doing the Part 1 course. I humbly request you to not enter politics and continue the good work that you are doing.
Sri Sri: I have no intention of going into politics. But when politician are doing something wrong, I have every right to squeeze their ears.
Q: Guruji how to handle a teenage child?
Sri Sri: Teenagers, when you have to manage them, you should know how to ride a horse - neither too lose nor too tight! Some times you let it loose, sometimes you hold it tight. So keep a balance.
Q: As a woman how can I fully liberate myself without being angry in the so called Man’s world?
Sri Sri: Lessen your dependency. What do you call independence? First you think you are bound, and then you try to come out of that. You find freedom when you have a say over your emotions and when you are in wisdom.
Nobody is completely independent. Even nations are not completely independent. The word is interdependent. Among nations and communities we are interdependent. We live in an interdependent world. Man depends on Woman and Women have to depend on man.
So it is paradox – independence and interdependence. Try to be independent as much as you can understanding the need for interdependency.
Q: I am into a field of research where I try to figure out the reasons of chaos in the world. In one of my researches when I was finding some conflicting threads in various religious prevalent beliefs, I found both Lord Budha and Lord Shankarya Charya had spoken of Soul. Can you throw some more light on seeming different statements of the Masters as per different times?
Sri Sri: Lord buddha said that everything is nothing. Everything dissolves into nothing. He said, I meditated to see the soul and found no soul.
Shakaracharya said: “Who searched? Who found that everything is nothing? Who said I did not find the Atma? That is Atma. That is what upanishads say. Buddha says the whole universe is empty like the space, Shankara Charya says the whole universe is full like space - everything is in space.
Q: Guruji, what is Nirvana? Or better, give it to us right now!
Sri Sri: Nirvana is bringing the balance and having no feverishness for any desire. Desire means a lack. When you say, I want nothing, I am content, that is nirvana. But that doesn't mean you shun your duties. You perform your duties well but you are with your center. Even craving for enlightenment is an hindrance to enlightenment.
All emotions are linked with people, objects and events. Catching on to objects, people or relationships hinders freedom, liberation. When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are liberated. The state of nothingness is called Nirvana, enlightenment, Samadhi. Nirvana is getting back to me from mine. Who am I?
When you go deep inside you, layer after layer, that is nirvana. It is like peeling an onion! What do you find in the center of an onion? Nothing!
When you know that everything is changing - all relationships, people, body, feelings - suddenly the mind which clings on to misery comes back to you. The return from mine to me, gives you contentment and freedom from misery. Reposing in that state of contentment is nirvana.