Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How does one deal with people telling lie? Can’t one actually progress being truthful?
Sri Sri: We can make progress being ethical. One thing is you have to make them really understand that you can rise very high like satyam and fall down like astayam (laughter)! So many such cases! One who is truly honest lives like a King, one who walks on wrong path, his own consciousness doesn’t allow him to smile from heart. Such people can’t even sleep properly.
Okay! Does that mean living like Satya Harishchandra? 100 percent truth is also not workable. So, it is so beautifully said in our Shastras! A Brahmin or Sanyasi is not allowed to speak lie, not at all. A teacher cannot! But a king, an administrative can do a little if it is in favor of public in general! Then there is a little more possibility for businessmen. Bahut khush nahin ho jaana (laughter)! (It loses essence while translating but still “That doesn't mean you should take it for granted!”) Like there is salt in food only that much lie is allowed in business. Like in one – two cases, suppose you have to sell your product, you can say it is the best, even when you know it is not! You won’t accrue any sin that way. So as there is salt in the food! If more... will it still be eatable?
Philosophy of death:
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: What if Boss is so corrupt and he wants you to be part of it, how to handle such a boss? It is difficult to survive in such a case.
Sri Sri: I know I know (laughter, clapping)! I can understand your difficulty. You need a lot of skill for that. You have to somehow tell the boss, “Boss I am not good at it, if I do some mistake you will be in trouble. Better to give it to the other person (clapping). I’m not skilled at this”. You can tell this or you can suggest your idea and say, “This is better boss, maybe. You know better, you are the best judge”. If you throw this last sentence he may think of taking your suggestion. But if you tell him you are wrong and what I’m saying is right then this would be the wrong way to communicate. Not only with your boss even with your parents, sometimes even with your spouse.
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: 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: When mind becomes imbalanced will meditation help?
Sri Sri: It is just a matter of time. Some moments you feel shraddha, bhakti etc. have just gone. Once that time is gone, it will come back. Even when mind feels restless, just sit in Satsang. Do more pranayama and see the difference.
Q: Why swamis have beard and long hair?
Sri Sri: We do 100%, either we take everything off or keep everything. But it is no sign to get beard or long hair to get enlightened. Anyone can get enlightened, anyone can meditate.
Outer appearance is immaterial. This is just a uniform.
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.
Sri Sri: Maya means all which changes, which can be measured. Everything that comes in purview of the five senses is changing – is Maya.
Q: Here you are teaching about the organic farming and rural development, I would like to know about all this so that I can go back and start something.
Sri Sri: You can go on the Ashram tour. You can go and visit the pathshaala, the goshala. One of the best Ayurvedic hospitals is coming up here. In Ayurvedic College, there is an exhibition about herbs, how each and every aspect of creation can help us. They are very nicely done. They put the herb and how and for what it is beneficial. See when you consume a whole herb, it has a different effect. In allopathy, when you are extracting only a portion of the herb and not the whole, it doesn’t leave that effect. So, the chemicals used adversely affect the body.