Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Sometimes I find many vikaras (flaws) in myself and think that I don't deserve to be on the path. What can I do?
Sri Sri: Get rid of guilt. Till now you were suffering from guilt and weren’t even aware of it. Now that you are aware, you can’t bear it. This makes you a seeker. So many have dropped their vikaras. Keep doing satsang, seva and get into the depth of meditation - it will rid you of the vikaras and the old impressions will be washed. If you were completely hopeless, you wouldn’t even have got a chance to come here, on the path of satsang. You have done something good and that is why you are here- direct your vision to the good as well.
Q: I made a promise to someone but now I know that it was not right. How do I get out of my promise?
Sri Sri: If the promise you made gives peace to someone then you must fulfill it. If it causes pain both, to you and the other person then just move on. A promise made in ignorance has no importance.
Q: What is the secret behind the notion of ‘Judgment Day’ in Christianity?
Sri Sri: Christianity says a judgment day will come. At that time all those below the earth, the dead bodies will rise and be asked about their right and wrong deeds. According to which they will be sent to either heaven or hell.
The understanding changed from the original meaning due to time and various interpretations.
Today what is believed and discussed as 'Judgment Day' is not what it was originally. The place where Christianity and Islam were born had a scarcity of wood. The land there had only stones and mountains. At that place burying was a better alternative. It was not expensive.
In India there was a lot of wood, so the tradition of burning the dead bodies began. Whereas in the land of Islam and Christianity, burning the dead was not possible. So according to the country and time people would do certain practices.
The interpretation people have maintained is that, on the Judgment Day, the dead would get up from their samadhi, but it is not that. In the Bible, it is said "Judge not and ye shall not be judged". Christ asks not to judge (criticize) and leave the judgment only on God, and one day He will look into the judgment.
In India, we have faith in Karma, which means you will have to reap the result of all your acts. Good deeds will bring joy and bad will bring misery. Similarly, in Christianity they say not to judge and that everyone will have to bear their cross.
Q: Guruji you arrive and the entire atmosphere changes. What can we do to achieve the same?
Sri Sri: It is your responsibility to transform the atmosphere wherever you go. You can do it too. By doing meditation and practices, our body produces such vibrations that everybody around us gets the benefit, not just us alone.
Q: Dear Guruji, is it true that it is not the devotee who chose the Guru but the Guru chooses the devotee? If yes, then what took you so long to choose me?
Sri Sri: Ha, Ha, Ha!! Let’s not go in the past! Let’s look ahead, having great times. Great days, yes?
Q: Dear Guruji, I have never been a spiritual or a true religious person. How can I learn to let go and believe?
Sri Sri: You don’t have to label yourself- I am spiritual, religious person etc. No need for it.
Just be natural, beautiful, good human being. That’s it!
If someone is not a beautiful human being and says, ‘I am a spiritual person or a religious person’, what is the use of that? What good he or she is for? Isn’t it? The purpose of spirituality is to make you a beautiful human being, the purpose of religion is to make you a righteous person, connected to the universe, to the universal spirit. And that’s what spirituality is and that’s what a simple, natural, normal human being is! Got it? Right, so it is better not to label yourself.
If you think you are a believer or a non believer, then even a non believer is a wrong label. Someone who says, ‘I am a non believer, I tell you, this is not true. You simply can’t honestly be a non believer; there is no honesty in it. Somewhere in some corner of your consciousness, you believe something; you know something, for your consciousness is very ancient. You don’t know your consciousness, it is so old, so ancient, there are so many layers, so many impressions on our mind, on our consciousness- it is such an amazing phenomenon!
Sri Sri: When the mind is at ease and centered, that is a glimpse into samadhi. The experience you have when you lie down after the Sudarshan Kriya. When you feel – I don't know where I am but that I am.
Q: Why does a desire arise? Where does it come from? What is the purpose?
Sri Sri: All desires have got one goal, and that is happiness. If a desire brings unhappiness, it has not reached its goal. The goal of desires is to bring happiness. So, that is the purpose.
Where does it come from? It comes when you are not aware of your Being, your Self. Desire is your wanting to stay in the moment. Desire is to experience joy. Joy is only in the moment. And when you are in the moment, there is no desire. When you are joyful, when you are satisfied, there is no burning desire at that time.
Q: How to attain the power of vision that Sanjay had in The Mahabharata?
Sri Sri: By being centered. When you experience the depth of meditation then naturally you get knowledge. There is no effort involved; no rotting of scriptures is required.
Q: Dear Guruji, recently scientists have said that they can create life in a laboratory by manipulating and intervening the genes. Isn’t this contradictory to spirituality and religion, with man creating life and giving consciousness to innate objects?
Sri Sri: Not at all. You have heard this saying – ‘God made man in his own image’. Right? So, whatever God can do, man can do too. God made man, created him as his own image. It is written in the Bible. Right? There is a story about it in Mahabharata epic also, written some 5000 years ago.
So, test tube babies are not new phenomena. Queen Gandhari , from one embryo, had put pieces in hundred pots and created hundred types of kids. But what quality the kids came out with, that you all know! So, there is a big question about the risk, but this is a fact that Gandhari created 100 children in hundred pots. So, test tube babies or creating life in lab is not a new phenomenon. It was done some 5000 years ago also!