Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: How to prepare for death?
Sri Sri: There is no need to prepare for death. You die for the past, when you let the past die then you are living for the present. Art of living, Art of dying are two sides of the same coin. You should die for all the past things that have happened. Live in the present! If you have to live in the present you have to discard all the past(clapping). Every second, discard the past. If you know the art of dying every second of life then life blossoms in its highest state. Mind dying each moment is death. Anyway there is no end to soul. What you think of as death is only separation of body and mind. Our body changes, mind changes, intellect changes, everything changes. That which doesn’t change, the very core inside us – the indestructible, if you can connect to that, that unchanging aspect in you, then that makes life fun! (Applaud!)
Handling corrupt boss
Q: Why are some forms of Devi so ferocious like that of Mahakali?
Sri Sri: Love and fear are two shores of the same consciousness. If you can love such a frightening form of Divinity, then you can love anyone. There is no fear left! When the acceptance level has increased manifold to accept both beautiful and ugly as your own forms, you come up stronger and solid. So to present beauty and ugliness as forms of the Divine is the intelligence of the ancient seers.
Fear and even ego also is all of that one Divinty. From serene to frightening, birth to death - when someone is awakened to such a level of consciousness that He sees divinity in all the forms, then only all this can be seen as maya. When the mind is calmed then the divinity is here only.
People decorate even with a cactus. So, recognizing beauty in everything – Flowers as well, and thorns as well. If you can accept such frightening aspect of divinity, it completely removes fear from the mind and the body. One who has undergone such states, their acceptance has become so strong. Beautiful and ugly both are your nature. Most beautiful and most ugly forms – everything is a part of one truth.
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: 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.
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.
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: 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: When we take rebirth when does the old soul enter the body?
Sri Sri: Rebirth happens! So many times we have died and taken birth. Soul can enter the womb at any one of the three times: at the time of conceiving, or the 3rd month of pregnancy, or at the time of birth. Many souls race and from these souls only one gets the body. In a race only one comes first, right? Sometimes, there are two then there are twins!
Q: What are the ingredients to be successful? How come Lord Krishna found Success in everything He does?
Sri Sri: For success in life you need yukti (skill) and shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom).
Freedom and love in personal life! Without freedom you will find no love and without love there is no joy. Freedom doesn’t mean doing anything. You follow some norms, a little discipline. And in social life you need shakti and yukti, strength and skill. And this is what Ramayana and Mahabharata tells you.
Though Duryodhana had all the power but he had no yukti, no bhakti. The skill was with Krishna and so he won.
Q: Does Birth and rebirth exist? If yes, then what does it mean to be a human?
Sri Sri: Why human birth? Human Life is there to know life.