Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Why is it so that we don’t feel same for a person all the time? Sometimes we are angry with the same person whom we love.
Sri Sri: You know we go through all different types of emotions. We like somebody and the same person we dislike. We trust somebody and same person we start doubting and so all these mixed emotions keep rising and falling in our mind. Don’t be scared. All these emotions make you strong somewhere deep inside. Somewhere you will come out a very powerful human being. When you are aware that all these moving emotions are just a temporary phase, and that you are much bigger than this, you become strong and centered. Don’t get stuck in any of these emotions or make a concept in the mind.
Q: Dear Guruji, it is easy for me to shut my mouth but it is difficult for me to shut my thoughts. How can I do it? Please help me.
Sri Sri: You don’t need to do anything. Everything is done here for you. Hiren is giving all the courses, he will lead you at different times to different types of meditations and processes and it’ll happen! That’s why you need to be here, if it’s a first Hollow and Empty - your Advance Course, you may find it a little difficult to begin with but then you know when you continue, you will definitely find it very useful.
Q: I strongly feel as though I have visited the Ashram before. Will you please tell me what the concept is behind?
Sri Sri: On the level of consciousness, there are certain experiences which you feel you have already experienced. Scientists say that life is only replay, shooting has already been done and we are only being projected on the screen. Also they say, according to string theory, that it is all vibrations. And this is coming from a scientist and not a philosopher.
Q: I want to understand about desires and how we are meant to deal with them. I feel that I shouldn’t be in the desires, yet I still want to achieve things or find myself attracted to another person. If we don’t have desires, where do motivations in life come from? Thank you.
Sri Sri: Fine, have desires. Who said no? You should have desires, but the desires should not have you. It is like the horse is in control of you, and you are not in control of the horse. If you are, then it’s a difficulty.
There is a story of Mulla Nasruddin. He was on the horse. And the horse was going round the same circles, same streets! So people asked him, “Mulla, where are you going?” He said, “I don’t know, ask the horse!” So, we are in similar situation most of the time in our lives. Our desires have us and they ruin us. Instead you should have desires, but you should be able to drop them any time you want to, and have them any time you want to! You should be able to get onto the horse when you want to and get out of the horse when you don’t want! Rather than you getting stuck in the horse, or horse throwing you down. Correct? That is more misery.
Q: What is your advice to parents?
Sri Sri: Know how to ride a horse! When you sit on horseback, you must move with it. You have to rock with the motion otherwise your back will hurt. Parents have to rock. You have to swing with them, know them and gently guide. Sometimes you tighten the reins, sometimes loosen. It is the same with kids. Put your foot down sometimes, but also give them freedom.
Q: How do I come out of negative patterns in my life?
Sri Sri: Once you see yourself acting in a pattern, you are already stepping out of it.
Q: How do I find strength in myself?
Sri Sri: Be well rested and have your heart in the right place. You need both mental and physical rest. Thinking “Oh I have done so much!” will only bore you down. Just know that you will have enough time and energy to do what you were born to do in this life.
Q: How to deal with and work with the people who have negative qualities like aggression, jealousy, instability and so on?
Sri Sri: Skillfully. See that you don’t react to them but with compassion, see how you can work with them. Yeah? One thing is it can improve your skills. Second is it can improve your patience. You can gain patience. Third is it will make you realize that the person is not constantly jealous or angry. They also change! You will see and wonder on how people change!
Q: What is the trademark of the ‘Art of Living’?
Sri Sri: Smile! If somebody says he/she has done the course but is not smiling, don’t believe them! They have not done the course truly.
Q: I feel very uncomfortable in the presence of some people even when they are total strangers. And I wonder why this happens?
Sri Sri: Take it as your exercise. OK, meditate, go deep into yourself. You will see this discomfort will go away.